Between 1901 and 1912, 4,787,000 cubic yards of fill extracted for the
construction of the Lexington Avenue Subway (4/5/6 trains) were used
to expand Governors Island from 69 to 172 acres. The southern part of
the island is built from this fill and the bulk of the architecture
there is from the mid 20th century. The western side was primarily
apartment housing that rapidly fell into decay when the base was
decommissioned. Some of that housing was used by the NY Fire Department
The largest building was the 11-story Cunningham
Apartments, built in 1972 and named after a Coastguardman
who gave his life in 1936 attempting to save two Michigan fishermen.
When I visited in August of 2010, all of these buildinges were planned
for removal to make way for undetermined public and/or private development.