Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Time Drawing Near to Kiss Admirals Row Goodbye?

Looks like the days of the Brooklyn Navy Yard's historic Admirals Row are numbered. There was an event yesterday to announce new developments on the Navy Yard property that will total 401,900 square feet of industrial space. Plus, a 60,000-square-foot supermarket. Today, Melissa Grace writes in the Daily News that officials--including Mayor Bloomberg, those from the Navy Yard Development Corp. and Borough President Marty Markowitz--are saying there's no way to preserve the historic buildings and that a supermarket would "better serve" the community.

Here's some of the flavor:
The "Admirals Row" mansions are so badly deteriorated they cannot be saved, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. President and CEO Andrew Kimball said yesterday.

"The buildings are not preservable," Kimball said after announcing a massive construction project, including the supermarket, in the Brooklyn waterfront's industrial park.

"We have no option," Kimball said of the decision to tear down the structures, which were built on Flushing Ave. between 1858 and 1901.

Officials maintain that preserving the homes - which they say would cost at least $30 million - is too expensive, and insisted the community would be better served by a supermarket.

The city Landmarks Preservation Commission agreed the mansions are not salvageable - but some preservationists disagreed.

"It's definitely doable and worth doing," said New York Landmarks Conservancy official Alex Herrera. "They're really a part of Brooklyn and Brooklyn's history."

The row of once-elegant homes, with their grand staircases and spacious gardens, housed senior officers and their families until the 1970s, when the Navy moved out of the Navy Yard.

Some of them were designed by architect Thomas Walter, who designed Washington's Capitol building dome...At the press conference, local elected officials and Mayor Bloomberg backed the plan for a supermarket, saying the 10,000 residents in three nearby city-run housing projects desperately need access to fresh produce.

"A crucial community resource must take priority over preservation at Admirals Row," said Borough President Marty Markowitz.

We can only think of a few supermarket chains that would open a 60,000 square foot grocery store. So, what's the mystery grocery chain?

Moral of the story: Lettuce trumps history, nine point five times out of ten.

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