Anable Basin

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Basin is on right (north) labeled as "canal" surrounded by oil industry properties in this 1873 map.

Anable Basin (also known as Eleventh Street Basin) is a 500 feet (150 m)-long artificial inlet of the East River located in the Long Island City section of Queens, New York.[1] A public walkway along the southwest side of the basin was constructed as part of the Queens West development in 2012. The basin contains several private vessels, the former Water's Edge restaurant, a former Prudence Island ferry boat, and a floating dock owned by Long Island City Community Boathouse, used for its kayaking programs.[2]


The basin's namesake is Henry Sheldon Anable,[3] who was also the basin's financier.[4] Anable was a prominent figure in local business and politics in 1860s, the time of the basin’s creation.[5] He was the son-in-law of then-president of Union College, Eliphalet Nott, who owned much of the land around Hunter's Point.[4]

Anable’s ancestors were among the early Puritan settlers of Massachusetts, arriving in 1623.[6] He is a descendant of Anthony Annable[6] who was a passenger of the Anne, which was the third ship to arrive in the Plymouth Colony.


The inlet was carved in 1868 at a time when Long Island City was home to numerous oil refineries and factories.[4] At the time of the canal's creation, a mastodon bone was found on the site of the basin.[4][7]

For much of the 20th century, the major industrial property on the basin was Pepsi-Cola, which had its bottling plant at the point where Anable Basin meets the East River. In 1937 the prolific advertising firm Artkraft-Strauss Sign Corporation installed the cursive ruby-colored neon-on-metal Pepsi-Cola sign atop the bottling plant and it became an instant point of reference for Manhattan residents and passing ships.[8] When the bottling plant was demolished in 1999, the iconic 120-foot-long sign was dismantled and reassembled at a nearby site by Rockrose Development Corporation. The sign is an official city landmark and part of Gantry Plaza State Park, which lines the shore of East River between Anable Basin and Hunters Point.

In 1980, Water's Edge, a waterfront restaurant specializing in wedding venue, opened on the north side of the basin.[9] It operated for over 30 years, until the then-owner was indicted for bribery and fraud charges.[10][11] A new eatery, Anable Basin Sailing Bar & Grill, has since opened across the street. The eatery offers mooring for vessels, picnic tables by the waterfront and a mixture of American and ethnic dishes including Ćevapi, a Bosnian sausage.[12]

In 2017, TF Cornerstone and Plaxall, two local real estate firms, both submitted proposals to the city to rezone the area around Anable Basin for development.[13][14]

Art and Culture[edit]

In October 2007, artist Chico MacMurtrie introduced the sculpture A Tree for Anable Basin in the basin. The 24-foot-high aluminum tree was set atop a floating island planted with native grass species. MacMurtrie is the founder of the Brooklyn-based workshop Amorphic Robot Works.[15][16]

In August 2012, to showcase sustainable agriculture, Cooper Union architecture student Karim Ahmed designed a hydroponic garden atop a 20-foot raft that was launched in the Anable Basin. Waterpod, as the project was called, grew sunflowers, kale, corn, and a baby nectarine tree. The project was inspired by the chinampa floating farms used in Aztec society.[17] Ahmed’s raft was moored at the northwest corner of the basin where Anable Basin Sailing Bar & Grill is located.

In June 2017, local art curator Brandon Stosuy in collaboration with Matthew Barney and a group of other artists installed a countdown clock at the entrance of Anable Basin, visible from Manhattan. The art piece counts down the days and hours remaining in President Trump's first term.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kadinsky, Sergey (2016) Hidden Waters of New York City Countryman Press. Pp. 92-94 ISBN 978-1-58157-355-8
  2. ^ "DIRECTIONS". LIC Community Boathouse. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  3. ^ "History Topics: Names of Long Island City". Greater Astoria Historical Society. 2007. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  4. ^ a b c d Seyfried, Vincent F. (1984). "300 Years of Long Island City 1630-1930". p. 92. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  5. ^ Stadler, Derek (2014-05-04). "The History of Long Island City: Details of its Short-Lived Days as Both an Incorporated Municipality and the Major Western Terminus of the Long Island Rail Road". Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  6. ^ a b John Matthews. "Complete American Armoury and Blue Book". Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  7. ^ D.D. Parmelee (1868). "The Tibia of An Elephant". Annual Report of the American Institute of the City of New York. American Institute of the City of New York. p. 1021. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  8. ^ Blumenthal, Ralph (February 25, 2009). "Letter by Letter, Pepsi Rejoins Skyline". The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  9. ^ "About Us". Water's Edge Restaurant. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  10. ^ Dai, Serena (Nov 2, 2015). "LIC Restaurant Water's Edge Closes After Unpaid Employees Walk Out". Eater NY. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  11. ^ Evelly, Jeanmarie (November 3, 2015). "Troubled LIC Wedding Venue Water's Edge to Reopen Friday, New Manager Says". DNAinfo New York. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  12. ^ "Home". Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  13. ^ Hughes, C. J. (28 July 2017). "Queens High-Rises to Have Industrial Space Downstairs". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  14. ^ Hughes, C. J. (14 November 2017). "A 700-Foot Tower Is Proposed for Queens". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  15. ^ Chung, Jen (Oct 30, 2007). "Anable Tree Floats in the East River". Gothamist. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  16. ^ Lee, Jennifer 8. (October 30, 2007). "Condos With Water Views, for the Birds". The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2015. 
  17. ^ Karim (July 24, 2012). "A Floating Garden". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 
  18. ^ Evelly, Jeanmarie (October 13, 2017). "Giant Clock on East River Counts Down Days Left in President Trump's Term". DNAinfo New York. Retrieved 2017-12-15. 

Coordinates: 40°44′56″N 73°57′22″W / 40.74880°N 73.95622°W / 40.74880; -73.95622