59th Street Marine Transfer Station
The 59th Street Marine Transfer Station in New York? The history of that place... is complicated...
The 59th Street Marine Transfer Station began life as Pier 99, build in 1901 to receive passenger ships arriving at New York City. It continued this work until 1931 when the location was refurbished by the Works Progress Administration. Once refurbished, the location was used to transfer waste for the New York Sanitation Department while passenger ships used the newly built piers to the south of Pier 99.
During the 1930s saw many historical firsts. This was no exception for the 59th Street Marine Transfer Station. Organized crime was on the rise and with it came the emergence of the costumed "crime fighter".
First a passenger port, then a site to off load paper and other materials for transfer. It was almost destined to become a smuggler's second home.
A Sign of Things To Come
Smuggling of all kinds was rampant. Daily, the newspapers reported on night time battles between the Vincetti or MacCabe crime families and a mysterious figure known only as ... The Shadow!
Tensions escalated, with both crime families recruiting more colorful figures such as the Skull Wasp and the nefarious Ghost Cobra. Efforts of both overworked law enforcement, and the crime fighter community, kept crime from spiraling out of control. Slowly, crime was taking a downturn in the area.
This continued, even after the outbreak of the second world war in 1939. Throughout that time, the 59th Street Marine Transfer Station was one of the local hot spots of criminal, and crime fighter, activity.
A Valuable Resource
But the war brought many changes and the 59th Street Station was no exception. During the war, criminal activity decreased as the war heated up. The station's purpose shifted from the transfer of paper and garbage, to valuable materials needed for the war effort.
Along with the shift in purpose came a shift in nefarious activity. Former enemies found themselves on the same side as Axis spies attempted to use the station as a foothold for underhanded plans.
Local heroes such as the Shadow, Green Dragonfly, Gray Llama, Moon Knight, and Captain America found themselves working with the Skull Wasp and even the Vincetti or MacCabe crime families. Their opposition? The vile Baron Blitz and his team of Iron Commandos.
Post War and Refurbishment
After the war, the station returned to its original use. But this time increased police presence and the long time war against crime on the part of such as the Shadow or the Green Dragonfly paid off. Criminal empires crumbled and the activities of 'super criminals' moved elsewhere.
The station remained largely undisturbed, and not well maintained, until the 1980s. Dilapidated, largely forgotten, the building was slated for destruction.
Yet, true to the building's history, a hero was not far away.
Mierle Laderman Ukeles staged an art installation that brought attention back to the historical landmark. A longing for past days and past deeds saved the old building. Instead of demolition, the City of New York marked the site for reconstruction.
Once refurbished, the building became one of the main transfer stations for paper materials to be transferred to Pertel Industries and SpecterCorp on Staten Island for recylcing.
1934, 1980, 1990
Related Report (Secondary Locations)
That's not all!
Rumors have long circulated that the criminal element suspected that there was more to the 59th Street Station than met the eye. Stories persist to this very day, that the Shadow maintained a secret base beneath the 59th Street Marine Transfer Station!
Is it true? Is there a secret base hidden below the marine transfer station in the waters of the Hudson River?
If so, only the highest ranking members of the New York Sanitation Department... and the Shadow ... knows!'Nuff Said!