Landmarks Preservation Commission Begins Process to Landmark 5 Gowanus Buildings. Is the Pacific Branch Library Next?

The Gowanus Landmarking Coalition met with Lisa Kersavage, Chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and senior staff members on June 24th at the LPC’s invitation to hear the agency’s plan to calendar 5 buildings in Gowanus for individual landmark designation. At the LPC’s public hearing on June 25th, the Commissioners approved their calendaring, which will enable the agency to schedule a public hearing and to vote on their designation later this year.

The 5 calendared buildings are:

  • The Gowanus Flushing Tunnel Pumping Station and Gate House at 196 Butler Street
  • The Somers Brothers Tinware Factory, aka the American Can Company, at 238-246 3rd Street
  • The Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT) Central Power Station Engine House at 153 2nd Street
  • The Montauk Paint Manufacturing Company Building, aka the Norge Sailmakers Building, at 170 2nd Avenue T
  • The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Rogers Memorial Building at 233 Butler Street

The meeting was attended by Brad Vogel, a Gowanus resident; Kim Maier, Executive Director of the Old Stone House and a Park Slope Civic Council Trustee; Peter Bray, a PSCC Trustee and Chair of the Historic District Committee; Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council; Kelly Carroll, HDC’s Director of Advocacy & Community Outreach; Council Member Brad Lander; and Catherine Zinnel, Council Member Lander’s Deputy Chief of Staff.

The LPC’s focus was on the Gowanus area’s industrial and manufacturing core, including the Industrial Business Zone, and not on residential buildings or 4th Avenue. Kersavage stated that the agency “will be looking at 4th Avenue properties,” which led the coalition to believe that the LPC will soon make a decision on whether to proceed with landmarking the Pacific Branch Library, a long sought goal of the Park Slope and Boerum Hill communities. Council Member Lander has been an important advocate for protecting the library and for promoting the landmarking of buildings within the Gowanus area as part of the City’s zoning efforts.

The coalition was pleased that the LPC is interested in landmarking the 5 Gowanus buildings and that the agency has taken the unprecedented step of calendaring them before the rezoning of Gowanus is finalized. The agency indicated that there are a few other buildings that it “might” consider calendaring. The coalition will continue to advocate strongly for the inclusion of more of the 15 buildings or small historic districts that it submitted to the LPC for consideration.

For additional details, see press release.

  • Posted on Jul 1, 2019 by Park Slope Civic Council
  • Posted in Gowanus