Staten Island Neighborhood Profile: Mariner's Harbor

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Similar to most of the other neighborhoods along Staten Island's shores, the harvesting of oysters was a very common profession in Mariner's Harbor during the nineteenth century. In fact, that is the reason why the neighborhood is named as such. During the 1840s and 1850s, these oystermen erected their homes along Richmond Terrace in the community. Consequently, the street became known as Captain's Row.

One of these houses is still standing, at 2876 Richmond Terrace. By around 1853, the home was built for Mr. and Mrs. Stephen D. Barnes. Many of the homes on Captain's Row were built in a Greek Revival architectural style; however, this home was built combining elements of Italianateand Gothic Revival-style architecture. It had fallen into disrepair during the 1930s, and in 1976, it was damaged by a fire. Captain Thomas J. Barry, Jr., who had been working nearby and saw the fire, purchased the home in 2003. In 2009, Barry sold it to Biagio Pergolizzi, who has been working to restore the house. On July 13, 1976, the house was designated as a New York City Landmark.

When Captain Thomas J. Barry, Jr. had witnessed the fire, he had been working security at Brewers Dry Dock. This company was just one a handful that had existed in Mariners Harbor during the twentieth century. In addition to Brewers Dry Dock, Mariners Harbor also housed Downey's Shipyard and a yard for the Bethlehem Steel Company. Across the water, in the Kill Van Kull, the Standard Shipbuilding Company maintained its business on Shooter's Island.

Prior to the Revolutionary War, Shooter's Island's forty-seven acres were used for hunting. By the next century, many businesses began to establish themselves on the Island.  These included the Petroleum Refining Storage Company, the Townsend-Downey Shipbuilding Company, and the Standard Shipbuilding Company mentioned above.  After World War I, however, the waters encircling the Island became polluted and Shooter's Island was abandoned.  After the Clean Water Act was put into effect on October 18, 1972, birds began to reside on the island, which was already becoming populated by flora.  During the early 1990s, the State of New York, who had assigned the area to the Parks Department, paid New Jersey quite a sum of money, which enabled them to conserve the Island as a Bird Sanctuary.  The reason for this is because New Jersey owns nine acres of the northern part of the Island, since the invisible line that designates the boundaries for each state cuts through the Island.  While Shooter's Island is a marvelous site to see from Mariner's Harbor, it is not open to the public.

While Shooter's Island may not be available to visit by the public, there is another wildlife park that is. This would be Mariner's Marsh Park, which is located to the west of Holland Avenue and below Richmond Terrace. During the early part of the twentieth century, a plant was built on the site for the Milliken Brothers' Structural Iron Works and Rolling Mill. Long before that, it was discovered that ancestors of the Lenape Indians, who were native to Staten Island resided on the site.  By 1917, Downey's Shipyard took over, where it existed for most of the century. By 1997, the site was transferred over to the Parks Department.  Aside from the wildlife, the park is also occupied by ten ponds, which are scattered among the 107 acres encompassing the park.

There are a number of schools in Staten Island for your children to attend which are located in or around Mariner's Harbor. The nearest public schools are P.S. 44, at 80 Maple Parkway; P.S. 22, at 1860 Forest Avenue; P.S. 21, at 168 Hooker Place; the Staten Island School of Civic Leadership, at 280 Regis Drive; I.S. 51, at 20 Houston Street; the New World Preparatory Charter School, at 2230 Richmond Terrace; and Port Richmond High School, at 85 St. Joseph's Avenue.  The Catholic schools in the area are the St. Adalbert School, at 355 Morningstar Road; St. Roch School, at 465 Villa Avenue; Moore Catholic High School, at 100 Merrill Avenue; and St. Patrick High School, at 221 Court Street.

To get to school, work, or any other places you may want to go, there are a handful of buses, which conveniently travel through the neighborhood. On Richmond Terrace, you have the s40, which travels to Goethals Road North.  In the meantime, the s48 will travel into the neighborhood from Forest Avenue, while the s46 will travel along South Avenue to the West Shore Plaza.  These three buses all come from the St. George Ferry Terminal, another destination for riders. In addition to the local buses, there are two express buses which have bus stops in the neighborhood.  The x12 takes the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge into West Midtown, while the x30 takes the Goethals Bridge into Midtown Manhattan.  Each of the buses can be found on either Forest Avenue or South Avenue.

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