Mixed feedback from LPC on proposed open-air pavilion at Fulton Ferry Landing

April 9, 2019

Rendering by Starling Architecture

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday gave mixed reviews for a proposed new concession pavilion outside of the landmarked fireboat station at the Fulton Ferry Landing. The proposal, chosen last December by the Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP), includes constructing an outdoor restaurant and bar that would connect to an adjacent utility shed and sit in front of the two-story fireboat station, previously home to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. While Alex and Miles Pincus, the operators of the proposed space, designed the outdoor concession to be simple and airy, some LPC commissioners expressed concern over the structure possibly blocking views of Manhattan and the need to keep the space as open as possible.

Fulton Ferry landing concession, restaurants, DUMBO, 1 water street, Sterling architecture

In addition to the outdoor space run by the Pincus brothers (who currently operate oyster bar Pilot and the Island Oyster on Governors Island), the BPP awarded the indoor fireboat station space to Ample Hills Creamery ice cream company. The selections were made after a public Request for Proposals (RFP) process to secure food and beverage concessions for the historic space.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation owned the historic site until the fall of 2017 when the agency transferred it to the BBP. Under the city’s operation, there was an open-air, tented dining area for a decade, which did not require LPC approval.

Vice Chair Fred Bland on Tuesday said the new outdoor space would compromise the unique view of the city from the park, as well as much-need open space. “I think nothing is appropriate here, except the little building,” Bland said, referring to the utility shed. “We don’t need more restaurants down here right now.”

Commissioner Michael Goldblum said if a new structure is built in the space, it should be temporary and transparent. While the Pincus’ concession would be prefab, it would be equipped for both summer and winter climates. Goldblum also said extending the existing shed would be “making a mountain out of a molehill,” and create too big of a structure for the area.

LPC Chair Sarah Carroll noted that from a historical standpoint, structures have been in place at this location in the past, specifically dining facilities. Carroll decided to not hold a vote on the project and instead called for a discussion of the proposed structure’s location, size, and nature of its design.

Fulton Ferry landing concession, restaurants, DUMBO, 1 water street, Sterling architecture

As Brooklyn Paper reported, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, whose popular shop in the historic fireboat station opened in 2001, has had to vacate after Ample Hills was chosen as the new vendor, though the company did submit a proposal for the opportunity. BBP head Eric Landau has said the park is trying to find another space for the beloved ice cream shop, including the smaller Pier 5 stand that Ample Hills has vacated.

Ample Hills will run its creamery on the first floor of the station. According to park representatives, the building’s second floor will house a handicapped-accessible Brooklyn Historical Society exhibit celebrating the history of the building and the original Brooklyn Ferry. Both businesses were awarded a 10-year license with one three-year renewal option by the park.

The Fulton Ferry Landing Pier is among Brooklyn’s most historic sites, marking the location of the first Brooklyn Ferry which set sail across the East River in 1642. The spruced-up pier was reopened to visitors in 1997, offering stunning views the harbor, Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline.


Renderings courtesy of Starling Architecture.

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