August 2008
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Archive for August, 2008

Demolition Not Necessary to Redevelop Admiral’s Row

admirals row

MAS Convenes Experts and Community in Visioning Session to Explore How to Incorporate Historic Buildings in Revitalization of Brooklyn Neighborhood.

In mid-August, MAS brought together community representatives, architects, preservationists, and other experts in a brainstorming session to develop alternatives to the proposed demolition of Admiral’s Row. Located on the edge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard at Flushing Avenue and Navy Street, Admiral’s Row is a collection of 11 National Register-eligible historic buildings currently owned by the U.S. Army National Guard Bureau.

The Admiral’s Row site includes ten houses, formerly home to high-ranking naval officers, constructed between the mid-nineteenth century and 1901, and a timber shed used primarily to store ship masts while they cured dating from 1838. The latter is the oldest building on-site, and is believed to be the only surviving mid-nineteenth century example of this building type in Navy yards in the United States. Although these historic buildings have been abandoned and allowed to deteriorate since the early 1970s, they retain a great deal of both exterior and interior architectural detail, and most are structurally sound. Together they form a remarkable collection of residential and accessory military buildings that are of great significance to the history of the Navy Yard, the borough of Brooklyn, and the U.S. Navy.

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Coney Island in Focus in September, Moynihan Station Round-Up

coney island surf avenue by jay spec

As part of its ongoing advocacy on Coney Island, MAS is holding two public programs in September which focus on the past and future of “America’s Playground”. Titled, respectively, Coney Island: A Ride Though History and Coney Island at the Crossroads, the programs will first set the scene with a vivid history of the area featuring Charles Denson, author of Coney Island: Lost and Found, and then representatives of the Dept. of City Planning and Coney Island Development Corporation will present the city’s plan, and a panel comprising sympathetic and critical voices will discuss its merits.

What’s more, today’s Brooklyn Paper covers upcoming programs and tours focused on Coney Island also in September. These include a slideshow with MAS’ Melissa Baldock, Kress/RFR Fellow for Historic Preservation & Public Policy and a tour with long-time MAS tour guide and architectural historian Francis Morrone. Note: these two events are organized by Historic Districts Council (HDC) and not MAS.

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Public Hearings on Columbia’s Use of Eminent Domain, Next Week

manhattanville new york eminent domain urban planning

Now that the state has officially declared Manhattanville “blighted,” on September 2 and 4, the Empire State Development Corporation will hold public hearings, the next stage of the process that will ultimately determine whether the state will support the use of eminent domain in Columbia University’s planned expansion. While many believe this is a done deal, there is still the opportunity to make your voice heard on this issue. Talking points on eminent domain from Task Force Supporters the Coalition to Preserve Community, a group that has long been fighting Columbia’s plan, are after the jump.

The hearings will be held from 1-4pm and 5:30-9:30pm both days, at Aaron Davis Hall of the City University of New York, located at West 135″‘ Street at Convent Avenue. Speaker sign-up begins 15 minutes before each session.

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Pratt Center to Coordinate Energy $mart Communities Program in Brooklyn and Queens

green building new york city illustration

News from our Task Force member organization Pratt Center for Community Development:

“We are very excited to announce that the Pratt Center and Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC (NHS) have joined forces as the coordinators of New York Energy SmartSM Communities Program for Brooklyn and Queens. NHS and Pratt will be working together to develop partnerships and projects to reduce NYC’s energy use, particularly in low- and moderate-income housing and neighborhoods. NHS is NYC’s largest home ownership counseling organization: their partnership will be critically important.”

The latest information on Pratt Center’s Energy Matters webpage covers financing solar power in New York City.


MAS Recommends Communities Be Involved in Land-Use Planning, Willets Point Rezoning

willets point garages

In today’s Gotham Gazette, MAS weighs in on how communities can and should have more influence on land-use planning in New York City, echoing its testimony given to the City Planning Commission last week.

In related news, Crain’s New York Business reports that an outspoken landowner and critic of the proposed Willets Point rezoning has settled with the City.

Elsewhere, many landowners on East 125th Street are still awaiting negotiations with the City as the rezoning review of that area continues. Also report on in Crain’s New York Business.

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