Wednesday, October 26, 2011

At Small Ceremony, Preservation League Of NYS Presents FROGG with Grant

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Linda Mariano of FROGG reading a statement
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from l. to r.: Erin Tobin of the Preservation League of NY, with FROGG members Marlene Donnelly, Linda Mariano, Bette Stoltz, Lisanne McTiernan and Lizzie Olesker
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Founding FROGG Members Marlene Donnelly, Linda Mariano and Bette Stoltz
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Lisanne McTiernan with Susan Golberg
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Old map from c. 1839 of the Gowanus area showing the original creek, marsh and mill ponds.
John Vetter, EPA archeologist for the Gowanus Canal Superfund, Marlene Donnelly and Eymund Diegel
A deservedly proud Linda Mariano
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from l. to r. Linda Mariano,NY State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Marlene Donnelly, Eymund Diegel, Bette Stoltz and Leslie-Arlette Boyce, author of newly published The Glory Of Brooklyn's Gowanus

Erin Tobin of the Preservation League of New York State  presented a  $7,500 grant to The Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG) today at a lovely ceremony at the Old American Can Factory, 232 Third Street. The grant will be used to fund a survey of the industrial landscape surrounding the Gowanus Canal.
According to the Preservation League of NY: "This neighborhood, listed as a Six to Celebrate by the Historic Districts Council, has many landmarks and architecturally significant structures, including the Carroll Street Bridge, the oldest retractile bridge in the country. Buildings within the Greater Gowanus neighborhood include not only industrial structures, but also small laborer housing, and the area has retained much of its 19th century industrial architecture and cultural heritage."
Linda Mariano, one of FROGG's founding members and tireless advocate for historic preservation of the Gowanus corridor stated:
"Acceptance of this grant comes with a great responsibility to complete our project "The Architectural Survey Of The Gowanus Canal Corridor". The purpose of the Survey is to authenticate the buildings, the vistas, the bridges and all else which may be discovered along the way that constitute a link to New York City's and the nation's industrial past.It is our hope that the Survey will justify the placement of the Gowanus Corridor on The National Register of Historic Places as an Urban Industrial District.The Gowanus Canal Corridor is the Gowanus Canal and the areas adjacent to the Canal, which contain many architecturally significant buildings that once formed the backbone of one of the nation’s most important industrial centers. Placement on the National Register will help preserve and protect those buildings which continue to growas a vibrant industrial sector, and to preserve and protect the remaining buildings to be conditioned for re-use and for new industry.There is a need for continuance of light industry in the GC Corridor. Most of the architecturally significant buildings are being used for noninvasive industry. FROGG and this community of caring people hope to maintain and sustain this need.  An additional outcome of the Survey will be to use the special district designation as a tool for preventing other kinds of zoning or even re-zoning .To work toward preservation rather than against it, to coordinate historic preservation policy with zoning. We could establish a citizen based planning process rather than so called "experts" who take the community out of community and transform our neighborhoods into an artificial landscape. Although some buildings are currently vacant, it does not mean they are useless. They can be adapted for future reuse.A special district gives us a sense of identity and a chance to preserve something of the past. It is an opportunity to share in community pride .We must preserve and protect the past for the future."
Personally, I would like to thank my friends at FROGG for their vision, for their tireless engagement and for their advocacy on behalf of the Gowanus Community.

And last, but not least, thank you to Joseph Mariano for sharing some bottles of his very own Vinum Nostrum, made right here in the Gowanus.  It was delicious.

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Agnes M. said...

CONGRATULATIONS to FROGGs! It is amazing how much they have accomplished, and how they continue onwards. Gracious of Senator Montgomery to be there. Looks like a very lovely event.

Katia said...

Very lovely, indeed. And a well deserved grant for a great group.