9. The Construction of the Tunnel Meant the Destruction of Little Syria
Before the construction of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, the area that its Manhattan entrance occupies was a neighborhood called “Little Syria.” The title might not have been so accurate, as immigrants from over 27 different countries called it home. Diverse though they were, these inhabitants did share one thing in common – the Arabic language.
When the city decided to construct the tunnel, they invoked eminent domain and forced residents to relocate with just several days notice. The neighborhood was razed and now only a few remnants remain, like the St. George Syrian Melkite Catholic Church.