"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Prior To Neighborhood Rezoning, Gowanus Landmarking Coalition Seeks City Landmark Designation For Key Historical, Architectural, And Cultural Sites In Gowanus

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As mentioned previously, the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) has just released the long awaited Gowanus Draft Zoning Proposal.  Many in the community are trying to understand and to envision what Gowanus will look like in the future, if the proposed rezoning, which calls for  22 to 30-story buildings, does go through as proposed.  Others are looking to the past, cognizant of the fact that much of the neighborhood's history could easily be erased forever as a result of the rezoning.

The Gowanus Landmarking Coalition was formed in the summer of 2017 to seek New York City landmark designation for key historical, architectural, and cultural sites in Gowanus prior to the neighborhood rezoning.
The coalition is made up of Gowanus residents, local businesses,  and the following organizations. Park Slope Civic CouncilThe Old Stone HouseHistoric Districts CouncilFriends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG).
It's mission is "to ensure that Gowanus retains an authentic sense of place - and remains capable of telling its own many-layered story."

The Gowanus Landmarking Coalition has just issued the press release below. Please support its mission and sign the petition to protect Gowanus' built environment prior to the City Planning Commission's rezoning.

Gowanus Landmarking Coalition Launches Website Ahead of Rezoning

GOWANUS - The Gowanus Landmarking Coalition unveiled its new website today in advance of tonight’s public meeting regarding the city’s Gowanus rezoning plan.
The website can be found at: www.gowanuslandmarks.org

The new site highlights the Coalition’s priority list of fifteen sites and small districts in Gowanus that warrant official designation by the City of New York. 


Having waited more than two years for the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to conclude its study of potential Gowanus landmarks for designation, the Coalition continues to press public officials to designate and protect critical sites before rezoning arrives in the neighborhood.


“We’ve seen this before in recent city-led neighborhood rezonings,” said Coalition member and Gowanus resident Brad Vogel, “Landmarking has been left as something of an afterthought in places like East Harlem, Inwood, and East New York when it needs to happen prior to the major changes that come with city-led rezonings. We hope the city will take a better course here in Gowanus.”

Some groups in the Coalition have been advocating for landmark designation in Gowanus for more than a decade. And during that time, several quintessentially Gowanus sites, like the Burns Brothers Coal Pockets, have been lost to demolition.

“We invite community members to sign our petition found at the new Coalition website,” said Kelly Carroll of the Historic Districts Council. “Gowanus should not be left with a paltry 3 or 4 designated landmarks when the rezoning dust settles. Telling the full story of this neighborhood’s industrial and maritime heritage requires more than a dozen sites. Our Coalition priority list is a good start.”


The Coalition, comprised of city-wide, neighborhood, and historical groups, continues to meet with elected officials and city agencies to advocate for landmark designation.

“Historic interpretation signage in the neighborhood as proposed by the city sounds nice. But first we need to save the buildings that still exist and give Gowanus a real sense of place,” said Linda Mariano of Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus. “We ask our public officials to do right by Gowanus and landmark the important buildings shown on our website as soon as possible.”

Here is a list of sites identified by the Gowanus Landmarking Coalition as landmark worthy.

Gowanus Flushing Tunnel Pumping Station, 209 Douglass Street
ASPCA Memorial Building, 238 Butler Street
Gowanus Station, 234 Butler Street
BRT Powerhouse, 322 Third Avenue
National Packing Box Factory, 280 Nevins Street
T.H. Roulston Inc., 70-124 9th Street
American Can Factory, 232 3rd Street
“The Green Building”, 460 Union Street
Ice House & Brewing Complex, 401-421 Bond Street
Union Street Bridge Control Tower
R.J. Dun & Company, 237-257 Butler Street
Norge Sailmakers Building, 170 Second Avenue
Bowne Grain Storage, 398 Smith Street
2nd Street Historic District (between Bond & Hoyt Streets)
Head of Canal District

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It is also time to ask City Planning, LPC and the mayor's office to send a request to the State Historic Preservation Office asking them to calendar a vote on the National Registry Listing which has never been brought to a vote after the Mayor asked for extensions that tabled the previously calendared vote on this.