Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kent Ave. Power Plant Being Prepped for Demolition?

Is the Kent Avenue Power Plant near the Brooklyn Navy Yard being prepped for demolition so the site can be developed? Williamsburg blogger INSIJS offered up an excellent piece of reporting that strongly suggests that demolition of the historic building is a distinct possibility. While Con Ed, which owns the property, told INSIJS that it is simply doing "spring cleaning," other sources said the utility is planning to demolish the building. Con Ed has tried selling the property in the past. Meanwhile, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has rejected examining the landmarking of the building. The plant was a Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit (BMT) Powerhouse and was built in stages in 1905 and 1936. It supplied power to streetcars and elevated lines. It was sold to Con Ed in 1950 and remained in service through the 1990s. Here's what INSIJS describes at the site:
We visited the site last week, and sure enough, there's several new gaping holes in the building's south wall, and crews appeared to be actively removing asbestos from the north end of the 1936 addition. We identifed ourselves to the security guard as a neighborhood blogger, and asked if Con Ed was demolishing the building. The guard happily answered "yes", and attempted to summon the contractor's foreman for a more official comment. The foreman, without leaving his trailer (to be fair, the crew was on their mid-morning coffee break), told her (and she reiterated to us) something to the effect of "That's not our job. Our job is to bring the place down."
While a utility officials scoffed a demolition, any hope of moving quietly in the direction would seem to have ended.
[Photos courtesy of INSIJS/flickr]



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