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.
The inlet was carved in 1868 at a time when Long Island City was home to numerous oil refineries and factories. Its namesake is Henry Sheldon Anable, a prominent figure in local business and politics in the time of the basin’s creation. Anable’s ancestors were among the early Puritan settlers of Massachusetts, arriving in 1623. At the time of its creation, a mastodon bone was found on the site of the basin.
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. 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.
Anable Basin’s moment in artistic representation arrived in 2007 with Chico MacMurtrie sculpture A Tree for Anable Basin which was introduced in October 2007. 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.
In sustainable agriculture, Anable Basin made news in August 2012, when Cooper Union architecture student Karim Ahmed designed a hydroponic garden atop a 20-foot raft. 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. Ahmed’s raft was moored at the northwest corner of the basin where Anable Basin Sailing Bar & Grill is located. The eatery offers mooring for vessels, picnic tables by the waterfront and a mixture of American and ethnic dishes including Ćevapi, a Bosnian sausage.