Urban Archaeology at Five Points
The construction of a new federal courthouse at Foley Square in Lower Manhattan, New York City, by the General Services Administration (GSA) required a cultural resources investigation as stipulated in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (amended). The proposed location of the courthouse was on a block that was once part of the infamous Five Points, a neighborhood known as New York City’s most notorious, nineteenth-century slum. Historical research conducted by Historic Conservation and Interpretation (HCI), Inc. a New Jersey firm headed by the late Ed Rutsch recommended archaeological testing and excavation before construction of the building began. HCI’s report, which was done under contract to Edwards and Kelsey, the engineers for the project, made it clear that any intact remains of the Five Points had the potential to provide a less biased picture of life in the neighborhood than the picture drawn by the yellow journalism of the day.
- Yamin, R. (ed.) 2000. Tales of Five Points: working-class life in nineteenth-century New York, Volumes I-VI. (Edwards and Kelcey Engineers, Inc. and General Services Administration, Region 2). West Chester: John Milner Associates.Google Scholar