Monitor

A History of Greenpoint in 25 Buildings: 85 Calyer Street

Thomas Fitch Rowland, illustration by Aubrey Nolan
Thomas Fitch Rowland, illustration by Aubrey Nolan

85 Calyer Street looks like many other frame houses in Greenpoint, but it was the home of the greatest mechanical genius to ever live in Greenpoint, Thomas Fitch Rowland, and one of the most important short conversations in American history took place in the parlor there. First, though, lets get a little background on the owner of the house, Thomas Fitch Rowland.

Rowland was born in Connecticut in 1831 and became a railroad engineer, quickly becoming one of the leading experts in the design and construction of steam engines. However, he decided to leave railroad engineering, switching to the construction of steam engines for sailing ships and also developing an expertise in metallurgy. He was soon invited to come to Greenpoint to build ships because of his twin areas of expertise. By 1859 he founded his own company, the legendary Continental Iron Works on Quay Street. Two years later, he would help make history when visionary Swedish naval engineer John Ericsson approached him about building a revolutionary ship in Greenpoint, the ironclad Monitor, which would revolutionize warfare making wooden ships obsolete. Continue reading

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Confirmed: Korean Restaurant Coming To Greenpoint

The corner of Driggs & Monitor has seen a slew of passable but not extraordinary restaurants come and go over the years, including the most recent closing of Donia, which had good food occassionally.  There’s been talk of a Korean restaurant taking over and today I saw they put up a sign that says: “Little Dokebi, Korean Street Food, June!” Greenpoint has almost no Korean food, excluding Mrs. Kim’s way on the other side of Greenpoint and hipster hotdogs that have kimchi, so I am very excited to see this. They’ve totally gutted the inside except the tile floor, so it looks like they aren’t half-assing it, so let’s hope it’s really good and sticks around for a while.  Otherwise it should go back to what it was seven years ago when it was just a coffee shop open three hours a day that also sold pot.

Category: Eat & Drink | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments