While excavating a site in the shadows of the Brooklyn Bridge, construction workers prepping a lot for a new luxury housing tower in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood happened upon a mysterious sculpture of a nude female bust. Local developer Two Trees Management Company called in archaeological consultants Historical Perspectives Inc., who excavated the 400-pound work and are analyzing paint samples from its surface to shed light on its lineage, the New York Times reports.
Because the sculpture was discovered at the site of an area once full of spice warehouses near the corner of Dock and Front streets — on land that most recently housed a parking lot, an experimental theater, and a garage — it has been nicknamed Ginger. “Ginger is a total surprise,” Cece Saunders, archaeologist and Historical Perspectives president, told the Times. The object was found amidst construction debris from the 20th century, pottery shards, and 18th century foundation stones.
Possible histories offered by those who’ve come across Ginger — who sits in a hallway at Two Trees’s offices — include suggestions that she may have been a brothel advertisement, a garden ornament, or the ballast of a boat that was once moored at the nearby docks. “Everybody kind of lights up when they see her,” said Two Trees development manager Hale Everets.
— Benjamin Sutton