Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Sad Anniversary: A Year After Greenpoint Terminal Market Fire


A year ago today, the Greenpoint Terminal Market went up in a huge blaze that almost took part of Greenpoint with it. We remember looking up that morning and seeing a gigantic black column of smoke rising in the distance and wondering what the heck could be burning. Then, we heard it was a "warehouse fire" in Greenpoint and we knew what it was before even finding out for sure it was the Greenpoint Terminal Market. A local homeless man, Leszek Kuczera, was implicated in starting the fire while trying to steal copper wire. Coincidentally, the fire happened as landmarking moves were underway. Jotham Sederstrom offers a summary of the GTM fire aftermath one year later in today's Daily News. A sample:
A year after the city's largest inferno in a decade engulfed 15 buildings along the Brooklyn waterfront, the historic site of the Greenpoint Terminal Market remains a charred wasteland and a sore spot for locals.

Nobody has been convicted in the arson fire that broke out on May 2, 2006, and eventually took 6 million gallons of water to extinguish. And nothing has been developed on the scorched earth where the warehouses once stood.

"That fire destroyed one of the most beautiful industrial buildings on the waterfront. and that's a permanent loss," Councilman David Yassky, who represents the area, said yesterday. "There's nothing good about it."

Some 400 firefighters battled the 10-alarm fire, which burned for 11 hours on a sunny day near Noble St. in Greenpoint. When it was finally extinguished two days later, six square blocks were destroyed. Preservationists had wanted the site to be landmarked.

Plans for the property, which was slated for a huge highrise complex, are pending. For those that are interested, we have a set of the GTM fire aftermath here and of the pre-fire complex here. Also a before and after YouTube video here.

[Bottom photo courtesy of Meadows/flickr]



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The buildings were horrendously ugly. There are many grand old industrial buildings in North Brooklyn. This was not one of them. It's ironic how the NY Daily News refers to the site as an ashen wasteland considering the fact that since the debris has been removed from the site, most who visit it now can see just what a stunning view Greenpoint has from its' East River waterfront, and consider it, and the Greenpoint Lumber Exchange Site, to be the preeminent locations in North Brooklyn for development due to their natural beauty. I guess the Daily News has money riding on the Red Hook pipe dream.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

I agree with above. Why should any of the major NYC dailies pay this story any attention when the views from the inevitable skyscrapers will obviously be so fabulous?

Yes, it was the biggest NYC fire in ten years (excepting 9/11), and yes, the hobo they framed got off without punishment, but anybody who cares about those dumpy old historic buildings must have money invested in rival Brooklyn developments.



Follow the $$$...

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only comment made about the dailyies was their characterization of the Greenpoint Terminal Market site, not that the story was being covered. And yes, do follow the money. All of former borough Presidents Golden's old cronies buying up crap property in Red Hook in hopes of making a bundle.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Professor Howdy said...

Hello! Big fire loss.
Very good posting.
Thank you - Have a good day!!!

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember this story vividly. My computer was hacked by officials with Exxon Mobil at this time right after the story with the NY Daily news. Rex tillerson met with Dennis Hastert the next day with the GOP Controlled House at the time.

The federal government and the NSA and other Bush controlled pillers acted on behalf of Exxon Mobil at the time protecting the executives profits at the expense of the rest of us.

The media said that Leslek Kuzera was NOT located in Brooklyn, yet a quick check revealed he lived right near where the fire happened and had multiple phone numbers BEFOREHAND.

I also had a METROCARD STOLEN during this time as well where someone then comes back and says you must have bent it.

I contacted politicians during this time period and they are all aware of what happened but the problem was that the Whitehouse is still controlled by Team BUSH. Only the 2008 elections can break the shackles.

9:38 AM  

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