A center for Mohawk life in New York
Place Matters Profile
Boerum Hill, known as North Gowanus until the 1970s, was affectionately termed "Downtown Caughnawaga" by a community of Mohawks who made the neighborhood their "home away from home" for some forty years. Having developed a particular skill for ironwork at great heights as bridge builders, Mohawks form the Kahnawake and Akwesasne reservations near the Canadian border began to work in New York City in the 1920s. They helped build many of the city's most iconic structures--the Hell Gate, the George Washington and Verrazano-Narrows Bridges, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, the Seagram Building, and scores of others. Many of the workers found lodging near Local 361 of the ironworkers' union, headquartered on Atlantic Avenue.
By the 1940s a community of some 700 Mohawks and several hundred Indians from western tribes had created a network of apartment and boarding houses, bars and grocery stores in North Gowanus....
Nominated through the History Happened Here conference and report