Virtual Bush Terminal Wildflower Walk
- Subject Botany
Join James Walsh for a virtual walk along the Sunset Park waterfront as he takes us on a tour of the weeds and wildflowers of Bush Terminal Park. We’re transported back to late summer 2020 as the artist walks along the shoreline identifying the plants he finds and telling us something of their various ornamental, culinary, and medicinal uses.
A Short History of Bush Terminal
This whole area, including what is now known as Industry City, began in the 1890s as the dream of Irving T. Bush, whose family had come to what was then New Amsterdam from Holland in 1662. By bringing together docks for ships, modern factory buildings for manufacturing, warehouses for storage, and railroads to send the goods to market, he built Bush Terminal into the largest multi-tenant industrial property in the United States, running from Gowanus Bay to Third Ave. and 27th to 50th Streets. The terminal expanded through the 1910s, was taken over by the Navy during World War I, and reached its most prosperous period in the 1920s, when it employed over 35,000 workers. The Army took over parts of the complex during World War II and after the war the terminal went into a slow decline as shipping moved to New Jersey and tenants gradually moved out. In the 1970s the space between some of the piers in this area was used as a landfill, which included a lot of toxic chemicals, and then the area became a brownfield as the city began to plan how to clean it up. After lengthy delays, that finally came to pass and Bush Terminal Park was completed in 2014.
James Walsh is a visual artist who currently lives and works in Brooklyn. He has been making visual work in a variety of media since 1986, and has shown throughout the United States and Europe. In addition to numerous editioned and one-of-a-kind artists’ books, he is the author of three books with small presses. His limited-edition artists’ book The Arctic Plants of New York City was published by Granary Books in 2016. You can learn more about James at https://www.granarybooks.com/pages/books/GB_169/james-walsh/the-arctic-plants-of-new-york-city
Produced in conjunction with the 2020 Brain Washing from Phone Towers Informational Pamphlet Series. Sponsored, in part, by the Greater New York Arts Development Fund of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, administered by Brooklyn Arts Council.