Since taking office, Donald Trump and his administration have been proposing cuts to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would decrease funding for the cleanup of the Gowanus Canal. Declared a federal Superfund site in 2010, the Canal has a major issue with combined sewer overflow (CSO), which occurs when heavy rainfall overtaxes the sewer system and causes stormwater runoff and wastewater to empty into the waterway. As Brooklyn Eagle reports, the city’s proposal to mitigate this issue was to “replace two [CSO] retention tanks holding 8 and 4 million gallons with a 16 million-gallon CSO tunnel running beneath the upper portion of the canal.” However, in a letter obtained by the Eagle, Trump EPA appointee Pete Lopez said that they would instead install two large retention tanks along the Canal walls.
Photos by Rise Media and Devon Banks, courtesy of The Corcoran Group.
Gowanus was until recently brownstone Brooklyn’s best kept secret for loft-industrial living in the midst of a historic neighborhood. Though the secret’s out, homes like this one at 467 Carroll Street embody the neighborhood’s creative spirit and mix of old and new. Built from the ground up and designed by designer/architect Ted Kane in collaboration with the owner, also a designer, this 1,616-square-foot single-family home takes advantage of Brooklyn townhouse living, modern comforts included. Asking $2.7 million, the home is energy-efficient as well as luxury-filled, and the garden is a dream for outdoor living.
Photos by Vanessa DeGarcia, courtesy of The Corcoran Group
If there’s one building that has come to represent the preservation movement in Gowanus, it very well might be the Coignet Stone Building. Built in 1873 as a showroom and physical advertisement for Francois Coignet’s concrete construction company, it was the first documented concrete building in the city. Whole Foods purchased the property in 2005 and built its new supermarket next door, and the following year, the Coignet Buiding was landmarked. After years of neglect, Whole Foods completed a $1.3 million restoration in 2016, listing the property shortly thereafter for $6 million. It’s now back for a hair more, and though a gut interior renovation is definitely required, it’s being sold as a residential townhouse that has incredible potential.
Five properties in Gowanus may be landmarked as the Brooklyn neighborhood prepares to be rezoned. The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday voted to calendar eight buildings across five properties in the neighborhood, describing them as both architecturally significant, as well as closely associated with the history of the Gowanus Canal. The decision to calendar the sites comes after the city released in January its rezoning draft for Gowanus, which includes enabling more residential buildings and access to the waterfront.
A few years ago designers Merrill Lyons and Charles Brill started the full renovation of their Gowanus townhouse, which involved “gutting it down to the brick facade, beams, and stair railings” and adding a deck in the back. The results—worthy of a feature in Dwell Magazine—mix the historic townhouse bones with modern lines and pops of color. With three bedrooms, space to spread out outdoors, and an inviting ambiance throughout, the residence is very family-friendly. The garden level is currently an income-generating rental unit, but it could be incorporated into the upper floors to create a larger single-family residence. Originally built in 1901, this completely transformed property is now on the market for $3,195,000.
Via NYC Planning
The Department of City Planning on Wednesday released a draft of its plan to rezone Gowanus as a way to bring more affordable housing, jobs, and community resources to the Brooklyn neighborhood. In the works for nearly three years, the proposal includes a waterfront access plan that creates public walkways centered around the canal, as well as builds a more resilient shoreline.
A charming and full-of-potential home at 240 11th Street in Gowanus (near the Park Slope border) just hit the market for a cool $1,995,000. To match its historic rowhouse facade, the home offers loads of stunning original details, but it may benefit from some modern upgrades to really let those bones sing. It features four bedrooms and a flexible layout over three floors, with plenty of options for its future owner.
Courtesy of LIVWRK; Photo of Ingels via Wikimedia
Bjarke Ingels‘ architectural dominance of New York City is growing — the Danish starchitect has got his first commission in Brooklyn, reports Crain’s. Developer Aby Rosen tapped Ingels’ firm Bjarke Ingels Group to draft plans for a large new apartment project on the banks of the Gowanus Canal. The site in question — at 175-225 3rd Street, pictured in the aerial shot above — is currently a parking lot.
The banks of the Gowanus. Image courtesy of Department of City Planning
Attempts to rezone the area surrounding the Gowanus Canal, a neighborhood both affluent and in transition, have been in the works for over a decade. Now, Brownstoner reports, the long-anticipated Draft Planning and Land Use Framework of Gowanus has just been released by the Department of City Planning (DCP). The 188-page report is the result of 100 hours of outreach since the launch of the Gowanus PLACES Study in 2016 as well as information contained in a previous Bridging Gowanus Study released in 2014.
The Salt Lot is a triangular piece of land just south of the point at which all three branches of the Gowanus Canal meet. The city-owned site hosts a NYC Compost Project facility, as well as the Gowanus Canal Conservancy’s nursery and educational facilities. However, the EPA has mandated a new four-million-gallon retention tank be placed there to manage combined sewer overflow. Gowanus by Design (GbD) saw this new infrastructure requirement as a catalyst for sparking conversation about much needed public urban space in the area. They’ve therefore created a conceptual proposal for the Gowanus Salt Lot Public Park, which includes three buildings constructed with materials that reference the Canal’s industrial history, along with sloping hills and wetlands.