Photo by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft
Ten decommissioned tanks located along the Williamsburg waterfront will get demolished by the city this week, quashing plans from organizers to transform the silos into public space. Over the last four years, a team of designers and park advocates, led by Karen Zabarsky and Stacey Anderson, has pushed for adaptive reuse of the vacant 50-foot tanks into possible performance space, greenhouses, and art galleries. But without enough support from public officials, the team’s project, The Tanks at Bushwick Inlet Park, now comes to an end as the city begins razing the oil tanks.
Photo by James and Karla Murray exclusively for 6sqft.
For the past four years, a team of designers and environmentalists led by co-founders Karen Zabarsky and Stacey Anderson has been rallying to save a series of ten 50-foot, decommissioned silos on the Williamsburg waterfront and transform them into a unique, 21st-century park. The project, known as THE TANKS at Bushwick Inlet Park, would be a small part of the larger 28-acre park planned for the waterfront, an area known for it’s “toxin-soaked soil,” as described in a recent New York Magazine article. Zabarsky and Anderson believe in adaptive reuse over demolition, so as the city’s bulldozers draw near, The Tanks team has started a petition on Change.org to save these pieces of Brooklyn’s industrial history.
We first learned about the proposal to turn Williamsburg‘s former Bayside Oil Depot into a public park nearly two years ago. Since then, co-founders Karen Zabarsky and Stacey Anderson have been working tirelessly with a team of designers and environmentalists to refine their plans to be something both true to the site’s history and representative of where the neighborhood is heading. Part of the larger Bushwick Inlet Park, a 28-acre open space along an unused waterfront industrial stretch, the plan is unique in that it plans to adaptively reuse the 10, 50-foot decommissioned fuel containers, transforming them into everything from performance spaces to greenhouses.
With a fresh name–THE TANKS at Bushwick Inlet Park–Karen and Stacey recently took 6sqft on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of the abandoned site, giving us a glimpse into how this incredible industrial relic is poised to become NYC’s next anticipated park. Get a rare, up-close look at the tanks, hear what these powerhouse women have been up to, and learn what we can expect in the near future.
You won’t believe these photos
Plans for Bushwick Inlet Park, a 28-acre open space along an unused industrial stretch of the Williamsburg waterfront, first came about in 2005, when the Bloomberg administration rezoned the area to allow for new residential development in exchange for the open space. Fast forward to last week, and the city finally acquired the last piece of land for the project, the controversial Citistorage site. Now that the park is on its way to becoming a reality, a trio of grassroots creatives hopes to bring their alternative vision for the former Bayside Oil Depot site to the forefront. Maker Park is the proposal to adaptively reuse this seven-acre parcel’s architectural infrastructure–namely the ten 50-foot decommissioned fuel containers–and create a “park as creative as the neighborhood around it.” The Architect’s Newspaper recently revealed the first set of renderings, which showcase performance venues, art galleries, hanging gardens, reflecting pools, and an adventure playground.
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