Re: Re: Graving docks at Grand Canal Dock.

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Anonymous
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Graving docks are a bit of an endangered species in city docklands areas, fast disappearing as waterfront properties become more and more desirable. Protected though these may be, let’s hope this remains the case. Reasons to be skeptical:

The Gowan graving docks in Glasgow, in use til 1988 and a Class A listed site, are currently part of a huge redevelopment that promises all sorts of shiny amenities (mixed residential & commercial use, floating restaurants, shops). However, the graving docks themselves, as far as I can tell, have been demolished.

A similar threat faced the Todd Shipyard graving docks in Red Hook, Brooklyn. A certain blue-and-yellow big box proposal called for the demolishing of Graving Dock No. 1, which apart from being a great piece of maritime history, was also a functioning dry dock, one of only 6 in the NY Harbor. The Preservation League of New York State got on board to protest its destruction, listing it as one of NY’s ‘Seven to Save.’ There were lawsuits and cases made by the Society for Industrial Archaeology, Save the Graving Dock Committee, and all sorts of noise raised by the Village Voice. Its fate? Filled in, bulldozed, and currently making way for a 1,400 car parking lot. But IKEA, never fear, will be sticking in a promenade and a couple of consolation cranes. I also hear they have plans to christen a vase FUKD to commemmorate the area’s maritime history.

So yes, it’s great (and admittedly a bit astonishing) that the DDDA is preserving/restoring 2 of the 3 graving docks as part of redevelopment. The scheme is something other docklands areas could learn from. I, for one, had no idea those graving docks were even there, but I take heart that they exist!

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