Gowanus, Red Hook Groups to Call for Saving Historic S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse

The S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse was damaged by fire last summer. ©Mark D Phillips, markdphillips.com

Gowanus, Red Hook Groups to Call for Saving Historic S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse

Carroll Gardens
Gowanus
Park Slope
Red Hook

Members of the Gowanus Landmarking Coalition, PortSide New York, and community members in Red Hook and Gowanus will hold a press conference on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, opposing demolition of the historic S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse along the Gowanus Canal, which dates to 1886.

(see this link for more on the building’s long history - including the fire the FDNY determined was intentionally set in the building in summer of 2018).

Many questions wreathe the site surrounding the building. The site is currently zoned for manufacturing and it is not clear what the owner intends to build on the site. Nor is it clear why demolition of one historic building is necessary on such a large site. It is also not clear who started the 2018 fire; the investigation remains ongoing.

The building was deemed eligible for the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2011, and the Society for Industrial Archaeology formally requested that the building be landmarked by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission a decade ago in 2009. Speakers at the press conference will highlight examples of adaptive reuse along the endangered historic Brooklyn waterfront that could serve as models for a repurposed Bowne Storehouse. It is still possible to retain an example of the community’s maritime heritage and activate it with zoning-appropriate, water-dependent m-zone and maritime uses.

As Council Member Carlos Menchaca noted through a spokesperson yesterday in an article in Brooklyner regarding the Storehouse owner’s push to demolish:

“Something is off here and we are going to contact the FDNY and DOB to understand what’s happening on their end. Our commitment to preserving the warehouse has not wavered.”

The press conference is scheduled for 9am on the Hamilton Avenue Bridge overlooking the S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse on the south side of the bridge.

Read about the other historical sites around Gowanus in danger of destruction if not granted landmark status.

Saving the history of Gowanus: 15 sites that require designation

 

The S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse was damaged by fire last summer. Following its construction in 1886, S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse functioned as a grain, hay, and feed processing and storage facility for stables, and was part of a two-block long complex. ©Mark D Phillips, markdphillips.com

Graffiti on the roof of the S.W. Bowne Grain Storehouse which was damaged by fire last summer.  ©Mark D Phillips, markdphillips.com