Saturday, March 24, 2007

Landmark Effort A Little Late for Old Dutch Mustard

Old Dutch Site

We note with bitter irony, the inclusion of the Old Dutch Mustard Plant, which was demolished last fall, on a preservation "wish list" reported in Flatbush Life. We don't know if the Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance, which is said to have produced the list--also containing landmark district suggestions--is at fault or if it was an error in reporting. (Aren't there five boroughs, by the way?) And, we had certain seen Old Dutch on lists of historic properties needing protection in North Brooklyn. All that, however, was before Steiner Equities--the development arm of Steiner Studios, for those of you that like to keep mental lists of what both the left and the right hands--dispatched its demolition crews to destroy the building as fast as humanly possibly.

Of course, everyone makes mistakes, and the list, overall, is right on target. But the Dutch Mustard Boo Boo gets at the Brooklyn reality that developers are faster with the wrecking ball than advocates are able to save things. The list of historic Brooklyn structures to fall or be altered beyond recognition before help arrived is as long as it is sad. We didn't know whether to laugh, cry or scream when we saw Old Dutch--whose loss we still mourn every time we look at the vile blue fence surrounding the empty land--on this "wish list."


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