Ahead of proposed rezoning, Gowanus gains five individual landmarks

October 29, 2019

Photos courtesy of LPC

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday designated five properties in Gowanus as individual landmarks ahead of the neighborhood’s impending rezoning. The buildings are architecturally significant examples of Brooklyn’s industrial past with relationships to the Canal, according to the commission. “These buildings stand out in the neighborhood as tangible reminders of the rich history of the neighborhood and the Gowanus Canal,” LPC Chair Sarah Carroll said. “They are all inherently connected to the manufacturing industries and institutions that developed around the canal in the late-19th and early-20th century.”

The new landmarks include the Somers Brothers Tinware Factory, a power station used by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel Pumping Station, the Montauk Paint Manufacturing Company Building, and an ASPCA office building. All built between 1884 and 1913, the properties represent the transformation of the neighborhood into an industrial hub following the construction of the canal.

In response to early talks about the city’s proposed rezoning of the neighborhood in 2017, the Gowanus Landmarking Coalition formed to lead this landmarking effort. Earlier this year, the group released a list of 15 priority sites, which included the five landmarked on Tuesday. The effort strengthened after the city in January released a zoning proposal, which would enable more residential development and increased public space.

Linda Mariano, the co-founder of the coalition, said the landmarking will help preserve some of the architectural and industrial structures in Gowanus, but noted there is more that could be done.

“Some of us have advocated for landmarking for more than a decade, and our Coalition has worked together for several years now in response to the city’s proposed rezoning,” Mariano said in a statement. “It is our hope that many more historic buildings in Gowanus will be landmarked, as they are certainly worthy.”

Current landmarks in the neighborhood include the Public Bath #7, the Carroll Street Bridge, and the New York and Long Island Coignet Stone Company Building. The latter was purchased by Whole Foods in 2005 as part of its plan to build its grocery store next door. In August, the Coignet building hit the market as a residential townhouse for $6.5 million.


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More: Policy
Location: Brooklyn, Gowanus

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