Gowanus , Our Advocacy

Action Alert: Landmark Gowanus before Rezoning

In September 2016, the City of New York announced that the Gowanus neighborhood would be rezoned. Under the de Blasio administration, neighborhoods throughout the city have been rezoned to encourage higher-density, residential development. To help incorporate the historic buildings of the community into this plan, the Gowanus Landmarking Coalition was formed. Composed of representatives from the Park Slope Civic Council, Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, The Old Stone House, the Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development, and the Historic Districts Council and interested residents, the coalition actively participated in City Planning’s Public Realm Working Group, which met throughout 2017.

Drawing on over a decade’s worth of research, surveys, and studies of the built fabric of the Gowanus neighborhood, the coalition made a formal presentation to the Public Realm Working Group and submitted official recommendations to the City Planning Commission (CPC) and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) for historic buildings that merit protection. Our goal is to get the City to acknowledge and protect more historic buildings than in previous rezonings, such as East New York where only one building was designated as a landmark, or East Harlem, where only three buildings were protected.

On June 4, 2018, the CPC released its draft framework for the Gowanus rezoning. After examining the document, we became confident that the scale of the proposed zoning will endanger many of Gowanus’ historic buildings, especially those that are low-rise. The Coalition continues to advocate for the selected buildings and sites through press events, meetings with our elected officials, and community outreach, but to date, the LPC has not acted to preserve one site in Gowanus since 2006, when the agency designated the Coignet Stone Building. The Gowanus rezoning is imminent. To this end, we ask you to send a letter requesting landmarking for Gowanus’ stand-out buildings to LPC’s Chair Sarah Carroll and Councilmember Brad Lander, who represents the bulk of the area.

  • 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
The Neighborhood

Gowanus

In its day, the Gowanus Canal was the center of industrial growth in Brooklyn and remains a spectacular piece of commercial infrastructure. It was the main reason that Brooklyn transformed from farmland to an industrial giant in the latter half of the 19th and early...

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