Thursday, December 20, 2007

Brooklyn Bridge Park Work to Start with Demolition of Historic Building?

[Photo courtesy of Dana F/flickr]

Work on the big Brooklyn Bridge Park development, which has been stalled and steeped in controversy, could get underway by next month. If so, it will start with a wrecking ball. Jotham Sederstrom reports in today's Daily News that the first construction phase, which could be approved today, will include the demolition of the historic Purchase Building under the Brooklyn Bridge and the removal of portions of five piers. Mr. Sederstrom reports:
The Purchase Building, built with federal Work Projects Administration funds in 1936, had been used as a temporary headquarters for the Office of Emergency Management following 9/11, when its Manhattan office was destroyed.

Supporters of the $150 million park plan believe the landmarked building would bisect the park, interrupting its continuity and blocking views of the river. But despite protests from preservationists bent on saving the Art Deco building, the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted in favor of demolishing it in 2006.

"It's further evidence that the [Empire State Development Corp.] cares so little about what the community thinks," said Judi Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund. "All parties, for and against the project, have wanted to preserve it because it's a landmark."

A shed on Pier 1, meanwhile, is also expected to be demolished during the construction phase as well as the partial removal of four other sheds on piers 2, 3, 5 and 6.
It would appear to be safe to presume the huge project is no longer "stalled."

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