Not only is there an interesting benchmark history at this station, but there is more interesting benchmark history right across the street.
In 1909, the New York City Board of Estimate and Apportionment (abbreviated NYBE+A) commisioned a survey of all five boroughs of New York City. This was the first city-wide survey to be done after the consolidation of the five boroughs into the City of New York in 1898. The survey would replace numerous incompatible systems in use by many city agencies, such as the highway department, the water department, the Department of Docks, etc. There were over 1000 benchmaks set in all, and the marks in Brooklyn go from #178 (at Fort Hamilton) to #504 (at the bulkhead on Newtown Creek at Manhattan Avenue, across from Queens), or 327 marks in all for Brooklyn. Of these, just 23 (that I know of) were put into the NGS database in 1952. You can tell if you get one of these Brooklyn marks if the designation is a number between 178 and 504.
The whole project and descriptions of each mark can be found in the volume [i]Precise Leveling in New York City[/i] by Frederick W. Koop, published in 1914 and available in the New York Public Library. Mr. Koop was head of the surveying team that set the marks.
A number of these historic marks are lost, but many are still around if you just know where to look. Three of the bench marks from this original 1909 survey survive just across Flatbush Avenue from this station. Two (#381, a disk, and #382, a chiseled cross) are on the arch (the Soldiers and Sailors Monument) in the center of the Plaza and the third (#387, a copper bolt) is on the step of the round granite structure directly across the street.
#381 is particularly noteworthy. It is a 2 inch brass disk inscribed "BD. OF EST. & AP.". There were less than 20 of these disks used and this one is in the best condition of any I have found. These are the only bench marks used that are what we would immediatly recognize as a "Bench Mark Disk".
I have included pictures and directions to these marks. They're not in the NGS database, so if you find them, you get "extra credit" or you can waymark them. Have fun!
[b]Pictures:[/b] All the pictures and directions are attached to my note for [url=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/log.aspx?LUID=94d008ff-c211-42d5-b230-584b8b1e2226]KU1296[/url] (the bench mark on the Library - which you should also recover if you haven't already).
[This entry was edited by Papa-Bear-NYC on Thursday, March 23, 2006 at 1:39:04 PM.]