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February 2017
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Archive for 'Save Industrial Brooklyn'

Dock Street Development One Step Closer to Obstructing Brooklyn Bridge Views

brooklyn bridge dumbo buildingBoth the City Council’s Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee and its Land Use Committee today voted to approve the Dock Street development in DUMBO. This brings the 18-story building directly adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge closer to approval. MAS objects to the development because the proposed building’s size and proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge will obstruct public views both of the bridge from DUMBO’s streets and from the bridge of the East River, the DUMBO neighborhood, and the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges. (Read MAS’ testimony before City Council) The full Council’s vote is scheduled to take place next Wednesday, June 10. With today’s subcommittee and committee votes, and with the reported support of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the full City Council is unfortunately also likely to ultimately approve the Dock Street development. MAS thanks Council Members Tony Avella, Eric Gioia, John Liu, and David Yassky for voting against the project today, and we encourage readers to contact Council Speaker Christine Quinn and your local City Council Member to urge them to vote “No” on the Dock Street project.

City Council Considers Dock Street Project

brooklyn bridge cables net MAS testified last week before the Zoning and Franchises Subcommittee of City Council in opposition to the Dock Street project in DUMBO. The proposed 18-story building would be located directly adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge, and, if approved, will alter views of the Bridge from DUMBO’s streets and block views of the East River, Manhattan Bridge, and Williamsburg Bridge from the Brooklyn Bridge’s public walkway. The Brooklyn Bridge is an indisputable icon of New York City, and protecting it from encroaching large-scale development is of utmost importance to MAS. No ordinary historic structure, the Brooklyn Bridge has been afforded the highest level of recognition and protection in the United States, National Historic Landmark status. MAS therefore asked the Council Members to reject the zoning changes which would allow this development. Continue Reading>>

Mother’s Day in DUMBO

brooklyn bridge dumbo buildingJoin architectural historian Francis Morrone on Mother’s Day for a stroll through historic DUMBO, including parts of three Historic Districts: Fulton Ferry, DUMBO, and Vinegar Hill. Atmospheric streets of beautiful old factory and warehouse buildings combine with stunning riverfront vistas to make this a uniquely appealing area. DUMBO is also home to interesting stores and restaurants that you may wish to explore after the tour. For more information about DUMBO, its buildings and their industrial heritage, visit, a website created by MAS to draw attention to the threatened buildings lining the Brooklyn waterfront. Mother’s Day in DUMBO Walking Tour Sunday, May 10, 11:00 a.m. Meet at York and Jay streets, upstairs from subway. The tour will end near the Fulton St. Pier. (Transit: F train to York St.) $15, $10 MAS members. Reservations required. Purchase tickets online or call 212-935-2075 to reserve.

MAS Conducts Survey of Gowanus Canal Historic Resources

In light of the City’s plan to rezone 25 blocks of the Gowanus Canal corridor, MAS is conducting an investigation of the area’s historic resources, including the canal itself. See slideshow below. Although the Gowanus Canal is sometimes better known for the pollutants from decades of heavy manufacturing and industrial use which earned it the nickname “Lavender Lake,” the canal should also be considered a historic industrial landscape. In fact, the waterway has been officially recognized as eligible for inclusion on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.  MAS recently completed a historic resources survey of the Gowanus Canal rezoning area, and will expand the study to include the other blocks along the canal and adjacent to the rezoning area that may be affected by the rezoning. The survey has already identified several unprotected potential historic buildings and structures, many of which are featured in this slide show.  Continue Reading>>

Community-Based Plan of the Month: Sunset Park Waterfront

sunset park view toward manhattan at sunsetAs the recent economic slowdown gives us the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate New York City’s planning processes, community-based plans can provide a framework for a future that works for all New Yorkers. The plans featured in this monthly column will provide examples of how inclusive planning processes work on the ground, and ideally will help inspire future community planning efforts. Sunset Park 197-a Plan Sunset Park encompasses a large stretch of Brooklyn’s East River waterfront, bordered by the Prospect Expressway to the north, Bay Ridge to the south, and the Gowanus Expressway to the east. The area has served as a maritime hub for over 100 years. The Bush Terminal was established there in 1895, and eventually grew to over 200 acres. Continue Reading>>

Williamsburg’s Fillmore Place in Historic District Pipeline

williamsburg fillmore place street angleThe Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled tomorrow to calendar the proposed Fillmore Place Historic District in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (calendaring is the first step in the designation process). MAS is particularly pleased to see this proposed historic district coming down the pipeline. In 2005, we, in partnership with the Waterfront Preservation Alliance of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, identified and nominated this collection of residences as part of our Williamsburg and Greenpoint historic resources survey. Read more about the history of Fillmore Place below. Continue Reading>>

A Second (and Green) Career for New York City’s Industrial Buildings

ice skating rink coking plant essen germanyNew York City was once the nation’s power house for manufacturing, and many of the buildings and factories that fueled that industry remain. Preserving these buildings and using them to foster green-collar industries or adapting them to new housing, cultural, and retail uses is the most sustainable action New York could take. Tonight’s program, Recycling New York’s Industrial Past: Inspiration From Home and Abroad, will explore two approaches to preserving industrial buildings: keeping them for manufacturing uses (which also means retaining good-paying jobs) or adapting these buildings to new uses, like the ice skating rink at the former Coking Plant in Essen, Germany, above at left. Tickets are still available for the program and can be purchased by calling 212-935-2075. Continue Reading>>

Friday Links Roundup

west chelsea cornell iron works building new york cityIntroducing NYC’s newest historic district – West Chelsea (PDF presentation via the Landmarks Preservation Commission). The NY Times is all over the ongoing debate about term limits for local elected officials, sparked by speculation that Mayor Bloomberg is looking to extend them for four more years. Newcomers running for office and top administration deputies oppose an extension, while a survey of the City Council shows support for the idea. The Daily News has an interesting angle — the large amount of contributions that candidates for other offices would have to return should they choose to stay in Council if term limits are extended. The Architect’s Newspaper has follow up on the City Planning Commission hearing on the proposed Hudson Square sanitation garage. The Daily News gets the exclusive on the Pratt Center for Community Development’s new study about the rapidly decreasing amount of land in NYC that is zoned for manufacturing.

DUMBO, Eberhard Faber Among Industrial Sites on LPC Agenda This Week

dumbo brooklyn street view bridgeBrooklyn’s Industrial Waterfront is the focus of a major designation day at the Landmarks Preservation Commission next week. On Tuesday, October 30, the Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed DUMBO Historic District and vote on the designation of the Eberhard Pencil Factory Historic District. Both sites were highlighted in the MAS’s successful nomination of the Brooklyn industrial waterfront heritage to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 11 Most Endangered Places for 2007. The Commission’s action on DUMBO and Eberhard Faber follows the designation of the Domino Sugar Factory in September. DUMBO is significant for its association with the rise of the city of Brooklyn as a major American industrial center and is unique to New York City for its nineteenth and early twentieth century industrial buildings, Belgian block streets, and its location on the East River by the imposing anchorage of the Manhattan Bridge. Continue Reading>>