Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Big Day for North Brooklyn Preservation & Development

McCarren Pool Pres

Today will be one of the more important individual days for preservation and development of late in Williamsburg and Brooklyn. Most of the action will take place at the Landmarks Preservation Commission where the future of both the Eberhard Faber complex in Greenpoint and McCarren Pool are at issue. In Williamsburg, meanwhile, architect Raphael Vinoly will give a presentation this morning about the future of the historic Domino Sugar Plant on the East River waterfront.

The Eberhard Faber factory in Greenpoint produced No. 2 Mongol pencils until 1956. The Landmarks Commission will be considering a two-block Eberhard Faber Pencil Company Historic District. Given the loss of industrial buildings in North Brooklyn, preservationists have placed a lot of weight on protecting Eberhard Faber. (Several buildings in the complex are already being demolished or severely altered as part of new developments.) The Eberhard Faber discussion is a preliminary designation hearing, which is one of several steps.

The Commission is also expected to designate a number of pools including the WPA-Era McCarren Pool (and the Sunset Park pool). (In non-North Brooklyn action, there will be a calendaring hearing for the Dumbo Historic District. It is the first step in the process.)

The landmarking hearings will take place starting this morning at 9:30 a.m. in the conference room on the ninth floor of the Municipal Building, 1 Centre Street, in Manhattan.

Mr. Vinoly, meanwhile, will be unveiling plans for another likely landmark, the Domino Sugar Plant. In this case, however, the developers will eventually be seeking to add several floors to the building. More than 2,200 apartments are plant for the site of the old plant, in buildings up to 30-40 stories. It will be interesting to see Mr. Vinoly's vision for the site.

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