2. Waterside Plaza was built atop rubble from England
Waterside Plaza was built on landfill made of converted rubble from Bristol, an English city that was bombed during World War II by the Luftwaffe. The event, called the Bristol Blitz, led to the deaths of 1,300 people and damaged nearly 90,000 buildings. The buildings at Waterside Plaza were constructed atop landfill shipped overseas from this attack, and concrete piles were sunk into the East River. A plaque at Bristol Basin, rededicated in 1972 by the actor Cary Grant – a Bristol native whose family survived the bombings – reads:
“Beneath this East River Drive of the City of New York lie stones, bricks and rubble from the bombed City of Bristol in England. Brought here in ballast from overseas, these fragments that once were homes shall testify while men love freedom to the resolution and fortitude of the people of Britain. They saw their homes struck down without warning. It was not their walls but their valor that kept them free. And broad-based under all is planted England’s oaken-hearted mood, as rich in fortitude as e’er went worldward from the island wall.”
Waterside Plaza consists of four residential towers overlooking the East River, as well as a row of duplex townhouses. Opened in 1973, Waterside Plaza is the only residential complex to the east of the FDR Drive. It has been recognized by architectural critics, receiving the Construction Achievement Project of the Year Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers. The British International School of New York was established in 2006 at Waterside Plaza, which is bordered by the United Nations International School, one of the pilot schools for the International Baccalaureate.