A Really Greater New York

A Really Greater New York
As Proposed by
Dr. T. Kennard Thomson

1st. – Construct a New East River from Flushing to Jamaica Bays.

2nd. – Construct a Dam at Hell Gate.

3rd. – Start reclaiming the East River from Hell Gate to the Battery. The reclaimed land will sell fast enough to pay for the New East River, and all the work involved, therefore very little money would be required to start this great improvement, which would thereafter finance itself.

4th. – Construct a new neck of land from the Battery to within a mile of Staten Island.

5th. – Tunnel to Staten Island.

6th. – Construct a New Bay between Sandy Hook and Staten Island and reclaim forty square miles of new land therein.

7th. – Connect these forty square miles by tunnels to Staten Island and Sandy Hook.

8th. – Reclaim the land shown on the Jersey Shore.

9th. – Develop Newark Bay for a Navy Yard, &c.


A. – The addition of 100 miles of New Water-front for docks, &c.

B. – The reclamation of 50 square miles of land.

C. – New York City Hall will be the center of “A REALLY GREATER NEW YORK” whose radius will be 25 miles.

D. – The debts of the City and State of New York, will be paid off, and the prosperity of the whole country will be increased.

An article about a really greater New York City, written by Dr. T. Kennard Thomson, in Popular Science, January 1916, can be read here.

And a map from NYPL can be seen here.

Dr. T. Kennard Thomson was more than just a visionary city planner. As an engineer he worked on numerous cutting-edge projects, was an engineer on over 20 skyscrapers, and designed and built numerous pneumatic caissons. Thomson oversaw the installation of the caissons below the Mutual Life Building in lower Manhattan. That building, which occupied an entire city block, between Nassau, Liberty, Cedar, and William streets, was

the greatest… and the largest and most costly office-building in the world. The Mutual Life is the first American life insurance company in age and in assets. Its magnificent building virtually occupies a great block. Site of the Middle Dutch Church. It is one of the wonders of the world.

The Mutual Life Building was designed by architects Clinton and Russell (Hotel Breslin, The Apthorp, 60 Wall St., Astor Hotel, Beaver – Cocoa Exchange – Building and many other notable buildings) was unfortunately demolished.

These photos are from an album that document the creations of the caissons below the Mutual Life Building:

Unidentified Photographer, Plan of Caissons, New Mutual Life Building, 1901

Dr. T. Kennard Thomson, Manhattan Extended, The Port of New York, Harbor and Marine Review, April, 1922, Vol. 1, No. 4, p. 25

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