The Gowanus Landmarking Coalition unveiled its new website regarding the city’s Gowanus rezoning plan. The website can be found at: www.gowanuslandmarks.org
The new site highlights the Coalition’s priority list of fifteen sites and small districts in Gowanus that warrant official designation by the City of New York. Having waited more than two years for the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to conclude its study of potential Gowanus landmarks for designation, the Coalition continues to press public officials to designate and protect critical sites before rezoning arrives in the neighborhood.
“We’ve seen this before in recent city-led neighborhood rezonings,” said Coalition member and Gowanus resident Brad Vogel, “Landmarking has been left as something of an afterthought in places like East Harlem, Inwood, and East New York when it needs to happen prior to the major changes that come with city-led rezonings. We hope the city will take a better course here in Gowanus.”
Some groups in the Coalition have been advocating for landmark designation in Gowanus for more than a decade. And during that time, several quintessentially Gowanus sites, like the Burns Brothers Coal Pockets, have been lost to demolition.
“We invite community members to sign our petition found at the new Coalition website,” said Kelly Carroll of the Historic Districts Council. “Gowanus should not be left with a paltry 3 or 4 designated landmarks when the rezoning dust settles. Telling the full story of this neighborhood’s industrial and maritime heritage requires more than a dozen sites. Our Coalition priority list is a good start.”
The Coalition, comprised of city-wide, neighborhood, and historical groups, continues to meet with elected officials and city agencies to advocate for landmark designation.
“Historic interpretation signage in the neighborhood as proposed by the city sounds nice. But first we need to save the buildings that still exist and give Gowanus a real sense of place,” said Linda Mariano of Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus. “We ask our public officials to do right by Gowanus and landmark the important buildings shown on our website as soon as possible.”