To help commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Bronx as a County in 2014, the Bronx Chapter of NYSSPE has been compiling a list of Engineering achievements associated with our Borough. In meetings with Borough President Reuben Diaz Jr. and his staff, the BP has expressed enthusiasm for this project that is expected to culminate in an exhibition in the Bronx County Courthouse Rotunda.
The Bronx Chapter’s team for this project is composed of Chapter President Jack Kleinfeld and chapter members Ed Sawchuk, Peter Piechicniski, and Gee Eng. A paid intern has been hired to provide research and documentation for the project. To date, $1200 in donations have been promised. Additional donations and help with the project is needed – if you wish to make a donation or contribute in any way – please contact Jack.
Here’s a partial list of the Engineering Achievements that are being considered for inclusion in this project. with brief notes about them. Confirmation of inclusion in the list is subject to further research.
Hall of Justice
Kingsbridge Armory — Largest Armory in the country, maybe the world. New plans for ice skating rink.
Valentine-Varian House — First use of certain materials.
Yankee Stadium — both the new and the original “House that Ruth Built”.
Grand Concourse — Urban planning concepts, usage of underground pass ways under intersections with major cross streets, Art-Deco buildings.
Cross-Bronx Expressway — Much maligned but vital link for I-95.
NYC Water Supply System — Bronx components include the Jerome Park Reservoir/Pumping Station, Filtration Plant, and valve chambers.
Croton Aqueduct/Highbridge — One of the first supplies of drinking water in NY and still working.
Arbor House — Energy efficiency, LEED Platinum certified.
Bronx Subway System — use of innovative underground railway system.
Triboro Bridge — and all the other significant bridges connecting to other boroughs as well as intra-boro.
Orchard Beach — a Robert Moses creation that is a completely man-made beach.
Sound Engineering — technical advances that were part of the birth of hip hop in the Bronx.
Estey Piano Company — Oldest known piano factory in the Bronx. The Bronx was the piano manufacturing capital of the United States.
The Lorillard Snuff Mill — Tobacco manufacturing, example of the Bronx River used for industry.
Concrete Plant Park — Site of a concrete plant (1940-1987) – contaminated soil remediation and plans to use the silos for power generators.
Bronx Zoo Lion House — Renovation and reconstruction that earned LEED Gold standing.
New York (Bronx) Botanical Gardens — Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Cast iron structured green house. Complex heating and cooling systems. — Invention of Puffed Grains, initial development of the methods that lead to puffed wheat and puffed rice as breakfast cereals.
Mill Pond Park Powerhouse — first to receive gold LEED in New York.
Montefiore Medical Center — Energy innovations, Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system.
Jordan L. Mott — Steel manufacturing in what is now Mott Haven. Patent for use of anthracite coal in steel manufacturing
Highbridge — Oldest standing bridge in the city being renovated for use as pedestrian park.
Van Cortlandt Park — Storm water treatment Comfort Station. 3D Laser scanning to provide topographic and utility image.
Lehman Day Care — Conservation of energy.
Suggestions are encouraged for other Engineering Achievements to be included. The achievements do not have to be structures or infrastructure. We are hoping to identify patents developed by individuals or business operating in the Bronx.
As part of Bronx Week (May 8 – 18, 2014) activities, there will be trolley tours of Bronx neighborhoods. This list with appropriate commentary will be made available for the tours. The ultimate goal with the list is to create an exhibit. The final form of the exhibit has not been determined – but may include a website, a museum quality exhibit for the Courthouse Rotunda or Bronx Museum or elsewhere, a video program, or an old fashion paper publication. The ultimate result will depend on financial and human resources available to carry out the project. Please help by making a donation or getting involved.