Thursday, June 14, 2007

PM Update: Endangered Brooklyn Waterfront in the Spotlight

Preservation Two

After reporting so much distressing news over the last year--including the demolition of the Old Dutch Mustard Building, the Greenpoint Terminal Market conflagration, the de-landmarking of the Austin Nichols Warehouse in Williamsburg, the disappearance of almost every old structure on the Beard Street waterfront in Red Hook and the filling of the Red Hook Graving Dock for Ikea parking--today's event in Dumbo to announce that Brooklyn waterfront is on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 2007 list of America's Most Endangered Places was a change of pace.

Inclusion on the list "means a lot to New York City and to Brooklyn" said Municipal Art Society director Kent Barwick. "It is a recognition that the places where people worked are an underpinning" of our culture.

Much of the focus of the remarks was on preserving remaining industry and on saving the working waterfront as much as it was on saving historic buildings that are threatened. "Maintaining a vibrant, working waterfront is essential," said City Council Member Jessica Lappin.

Ward Dennis, a member of Community Board 1 and member of the Waterfront Alliance of Greenpoint & Williamsburg noted that three years ago the group, which advocates for historic preservation in North Brooklyn, could not get a meeting with the former head of the City Council's Landmarks Committee, whereas the current Chair, Ms. Lappin, was a speaker at today's event.

"This listing says that this history matters to all of us,"Mr. Dennis said.

Brownstoner has more photos of the event here and boat ride that followed it here. The Waterfront Preservation Alliance has a blog item here. The MAS has also launched a new Save Industrial Brooklyn website.

Preservation One

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