Chapter 1 – Report 36PH037


The following management summary documents the preliminary findings of Phase IB/II archaeological excavations performed as part of the I-95/GIR Improvement Corridor Project for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT), Engineering District 6-0. URS Corporation (URS) performed these investigations within a portion of the GR-1 section of the larger project area, and specifically within a study area that extended along the eastern shoulder of Richmond Street, from Dyott Street to Schirra Lane. The work was conducted in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended; 36 CFR Part 800, particularly sections 800.4, and 800.5; the Section 106 Programmatic Agreement of 2010; as well as the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), Bureau of Historic Preservation (BHP)Guidelines for Archaeological Investigations (2008).

Testing targeted a portion of the former Dyottville Glass Works[1] complex contained beneath sections of Dyott and Richmond Streets, as well as Schirra Lane. The location of the Dyottville Glass Works had been previously recorded via the Pennsylvania Archaeological Site Survey (PASS) and assigned a site name and number: Dyottville Glass Works/William Cramp & Sons Shipyard Site, 36PH037 (hereafter referred to as the Dyottville/Cramp Site). As defined, this site is bounded by Dyott Street to the south, Richmond Street to the west, Cumberland Street to the north, and the Delaware River to the east; however, at the time of recordation, no subsurface testing had been performed to verify the continued presence of preserved archaeological deposits or features. Current excavations were able to confirm that extensive portions of the former glassworks complex are well preserved beneath existing road surfaces, and additionally documented that the historic component overlies multiple, intact, previously undocumented Native American cultural horizons.

The objectives of the Phase IB/II effort were to: 1) determine the presence/absence of any potentially significant prehistoric and/or historic archaeological deposits, building foundations, and other features; 2) assess the significance and integrity of archaeological deposits; and 3) provide recommendations regarding the potential eligibility of identified archaeological deposits for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

Study Area Description and Existing Conditions

Figure 1
Project location (Source: ArcGIS Online 2011).

Improvements to I-95 in this portion of Section GR-1 at the intersection of Dyott Street and Richmond Street involve the replacement of the existing road surface, construction of a rain garden landscaping feature, the installation of deep multiple new utilities (with associated manhole/access facilities), and the removal of existing water, sewer, and electric lines. The Phase IB/II study area consisted of two distinct areas: Trenches 1-“6 encompassed an area approximately 35 x 200 feet, situated along the northeast shoulder of the Dyott-Richmond Street intersection. The second study area (20 x 35 feet; Trench 7) was located approximately 250 feet north of Trench 6 at the west end of Schirra Drive, near its intersection with Richmond Street (Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 2
Aerial view of project site showing locations of Phase IB/II trenches.

Study area conditions prior to the start of archaeological investigations were characterized by asphalt paving over Belgian block covering the entire study area. Concrete paving related to early-twentieth-century rail lines was exposed beneath the Belgian block in the west half of the test area (Figures 3 and 4). Sections of railroad tracks were visible on the street surface and are embedded in the concrete base. Wood railroad ties are also set in the concrete roadway base. The eastern boundary of the study area was defined by a chain link fence aligned along the far outer margins of Richmond and Dyott Streets. A privately owned, grass-covered lot—”located on the east side of the fence, outside of the project area—”likely contains additional well-preserved Dyottville Glass Works buildings and archaeological deposits (Figures 3,4,5,6).