Mott Haven takes its name from Jordan Mott, whose Ironworks was once the major industry in the neighborhood. He built a canal along what is now the street, Canal Place. It served to transport his biggest selling product, the cast iron stove. Many of NYC's manhole covers were manufactured at the Mott Ironworks, as well.
Friends of Brook Park, a community group in Mott Haven, is currently working to establish a waterfront access park where this canal once joined the Harlem River. We are advocating for a memorial map and plaque explaining the history of the neighborhood. You can still see the old "Ironworks" sign from the Harlem River. After all, how many other man-made, bustling canals did New York City have? Not many!
The area was recently rezoned, and the City Planners estimate within the next 10 years there will be residential development near this site--possibly 6 story residential condominiums, with mandatory waterfront access and sight lines to the water. This may aid us in developing the small park at the foot of Park Avenue where we can launch canoes and kayaks. We need to "find" 2 million dollars to build the park, estimates New Yorkers For Parks. (July 2006)