Thursday, June 19, 2014

Iconic Gowanus Kentile Sign Being Dismantled Right Now

IMG_0065
IMG_0066
The Kentile sign with scaffolding last week.

Photos of parts of the Kentile sign being taken down this afternoon between  3:30PM and 4:00 PM
They were taken by Gowanus Current
10464196_407998592673965_7794863188843579640_n
10375085_407998892673935_6107795192031631247_n
By now, everyone has heard that the iconic Kentile sign in Gowanus is going to be dismantled. The news has generated emotions from sadness to outrage amongst many Brooklynites. Last week, Councilmember Brad Lander announced that the Gowanus Alliance will "partner with local officials in an effort to preserve the Kentile sign’s iconic letters for continued display in the Gowanus area."

Just today, several news stories mentioned that the sign will be illuminated one more time before it is taken down forever.

Well, it appears that the sign is actually being dismantled right now. The K and the E are already down. Gowanus Current, a documentary project "following the changes to one neighborhood over one year told through stories of the people who live there" by Gowanus residents Jamie Courville and Chris Reynolds, has just posted the photos above, which were taken this afternoon between 3:30 PM to 4 PM.

I would like to thank Jamie and Chris for the use of the images. "My heart is breaking, "Jamie wrote to me a few minutes ago. Mine too.

You can follow Gowanus Current on Facebook here.




16 comments:

Arthur caputo said...

As a kid growing up on 9th street and Second ave, I watched as the workmen put up the Kentile sign ,one letter at a time, taken off a flat bed truck. Now, approx. 60 years later ,taken down . Never thought it would come down .SAD

Anonymous said...

Finally!!! Yeeeepeeee!!!!!

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/nyregion/nostalgias-blurring-glow.html?_r=0

Ginia Bellafonte thinks we should just get over it.

Katia said...

Arthur, I honestly never thought Brooklyn would lose the sign either.

Anonymous said...

It's a big bummer but I'm happy that it will be repurposed--just curious where it will go and if it will be ground-level or hoisted on top of another building.
Also, I was at Whole Foods yesterday and I notice a new large building going up by the canal, next to the WF parking lot. Any idea what this is?

Mrs. G said...

Greetings Katia,

Wow. Of course it was inevitable - one day - but I never imagined thiit would happen in my lifetime. To many, The Brooklyn Bridge or the "Williamsburgh Bank" (which we saw from our living room)represented Brooklyn. To me, it will always be the Kentile sign. As a kid, I would take my Ma's opera glasses (yup, that's what we called them then) and look at the sign "up close" from my parents bedroom. Sadness fills my heart to see this, the end of an era happen before my eyes. Thanks SO much for the pictures!

Katia said...

Ms. G. I will never understand how people from this country travel to Europe and admire the old buildings and how history is carefully preserved.
We have history here too. And it is worth protecting. But the will just does not seem to be there.

The community should have had the opportunity to find a suitable location and experts to take it down before the owner started to have it dismantled.

I wonder if we will ever see it again.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand the attachment to this sign. There was a time when a huge sign like this this would have been called an eyesore and people would have fought to get rid of it. I to not think that it is either beautiful or worth keeping, and I have been living in this part of Brooklyn for 30 years. It also has little historic significance, it was just an advertisement for a local tile merchant. In a few weeks no one will give it a moment's thought.

Anonymous said...

The Gowanus Alliance has offered to hold and restore the sign until officials find a new place for it. See the article here.

http://www.gowanusalliance.org/kentile-sign/

Margaret said...

4:05 good for you that you have no feeling for this sign, but don't denigrate those of us for whom this sign DOES have meaning. It gave our skyline character and beauty, and history.

Anonymous said...

with all due respect, i do not find the sign attractive and, therefore, do not consider it a loss. i am all for preservation, but only the ones deemed worthy.

Anonymous said...

How can you even compare preserving an eyesore commercial advertising sign to cathedrals built hundreds years ago all across Europe?! It's really pathetic.

Anonymous said...

11:15 lettering is an art. It is called the art of typography. That sign was magnificent typography and gave a sense of time and place. It was beautiful in our skyline. And so is St. Agnes Church. It os not either/or.

Anonymous said...

just one simple question.. how would you all feel about someone propoing to put up a new sign like this today in your neighborhood??.. I suspect the pitch forks would be out in no time..

Anonymous said...

10:28 i would rather look at that sign in my skyline than have my skyline eTen up by condo development.

abraca said...

For many years I could tell where I was by the ""KENTILE FLOOPS" sign. And no, that wasn't a typo. At night the "leg" of the "R" didn't light up. So yeah, FLOOPS.