Gowanus Alliance reveals plans to bring Kentile Floors sign to new park

Posted On Tue, January 10, 2017 By

Posted On Tue, January 10, 2017 By In Gowanus, Urban Design

Renderings via Loci Architecture

Two summers ago, the Gowanus Alliance teamed up with Gowanus by Design on their vision to transform the land underneath the elevated subway tracks on 10th Street between Second and Third Avenues into a public park that would serve as a home for the iconic but dismantled Kentile Floors sign. Now that the MTA has completed its repairs on the tracks above, Brooklyn Paper reports that the group has tapped Loci Architecture for preliminary renderings of what this space, dubbed Under the Tracks Playground, could look like.

kentile floors sign, Gowanus
Kentile Floors sign in 2013 via Steven Pisano/Flickr

The eight-story Kentile Floors sign rose atop asbestos tile factory at Ninth Street and Second Avenue in 1949, the bright red letters becoming an iconic part of the Brooklyn skyline and a symbol to those riders of the elevated F and G lines. When the building owners took the sign down in 2014, Gowanus Alliance head Paul Basile struck a deal with them that he could obtain the letters as long as he kept them in the neighborhood and in sequence and didn’t put them on private property that would benefit developers.

Under the Tracks Playground, Kentile Floors sign, Gowanus Alliance, Loci Architecture, Gowanus by Design

Under the Tracks Playground, Kentile Floors sign, Gowanus Alliance, Loci Architecture, Gowanus by Design

Therefore, the plan is to place the letters on top of 10-foot planters and renovate the abandoned playground area into a green space with seating areas and basketball courts. One obstacle, though, is that the land is owned by the MTA. They closed the park way back in the ’90s when concrete began falling from the tracks above, but didn’t start repairs until 2009. Now that these are complete, Basile feels the time is ripe for the agency to give the land over to the public. He also feels that the expected rezoning of Gowanus to accommodate more residential development makes the park crucial: “I think it would represent retaining some of our past that we feel is so threatened by the gentrification and rezoning.” Next up, the group will present at Community Board 6’s February meeting, when they hope the MTA will be present. They’re also looking to share the plans at the January 26th land-use committee meeting.

[Via Brooklyn Paper]

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Renderings via Loci Architecture

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Neighborhoods : Gowanus

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