As rezoning drops in various NYC neighborhoods, let’s look at a recent history of how one neighborhood where rezoning is anticipated, Gowanus, has proceeded on the preservation front. In the fall of 2017, a group pushed to have the Gowanus Station building at 234 Butler Street (Image 1) designated as a city landmark, only to be rejected for ostensibly being too altered and utilitarian. The Beaux Arts building remains threatened with planned demolition by the Superfund cleanup process.
Across the street (Image 2), the #ASPCA building recently highlighted by @brownstoner was advocated by a group of neighborhood residents and @hdcnyc for landmarking in City Planning’s Gowanus Places study and may or may not be part of LPC’s ongoing survey of potential landmarks in Gowanus. The neighborhood is currently home to a few city designated landmarks, such as the 1889 #carrollstreetbridge (Image 3) which is in need of maintenance, and the Coignet Stone building (landmarked in 2006) - which provides a model for how the Gowanus Station building might be saved even if a much larger structure is built immediately adjacent. And, as background to all of this, a local group called FROGG (Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus ) pushed for designating a #Gowanus state and national register district several years ago - and talk of another push on this front is now bubbling again.
How have you seen neighborhoods advance preservation interests in the face of rezoning? What analogous situations come to mind that might offer solutions? On April 15th, our film festival arrives in Brooklyn to show At the Corner of Third and Third (a documentary about the Coignet Stone building) at the @gowanusdredgers boathouse at 7 pm.
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