2. Preserve Iconic Historic Buildings.
A Genuine Mix of Uses > Recommendations

Because of the sensitivity various stakeholders have to potential regulatory processes that stem from some of historic preservation’s more traditional tools, it is important for community organizations to work collaboratively to develop an agreed-upon set of strategies and next steps for enacting historic preservation measures. The community would greatly benefit from engaging a seasoned preservation expert who can guide it through a preservation planning process and provide accurate information about the impacts of employing various actions and tools.

NYC Landmark Designation

NYC Landmark designation imposes site-based regulation; for designated properties, a permit from the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission is required prior to altering built features. The Commission has developed a large catalogue of rules and guidelines that assist property owners in selecting historically appropriate materials, which can expedite the permit process.

A number of individual buildings in Gowanus were identified as being of particular architectural and historic significance by Bridging Gowanus participants and local preservation advocates such as Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus (FROGG), including the following sampling:1)Many of these and other potential landmark structures in the Gowanus neighborhood are described in a 2012 publication of the Historic Districts Council. See: http://www.6tocelebrate.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/HDC-6toC-Gowanus.pdf”

+ R.J. Dun and Company Building, 255 Butler Street

+ ASPCA Memorial Building, 233 Butler Street

+ Gowanus/Douglass Street Pumping House, 209 Douglass Street

+ National Packing Box Factory, 543 Union Street

+ 505 Carroll Street

+ 333 Carroll Street

+ BRT Powerhouse, 322 3rd Avenue

+ American Can Factory, 232 3rd Street

+ Brooklyn Lyceum, 227 4th Avenue)

+ Brooklyn Arts Space, 168 7th Street)

+ Thomas Roulston Grocery Waterhouse, 70-124 9th Street

+ 170 2nd Avenue (at 13th Street)

These buildings and others recommended by the community should be reviewed by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. In addition, Bridging Gowanus and other community forums have elicited considerable support for extending and enlarging the existing Carroll Gardens Historic District, which was designated in 1973 and protects a very small pocket of the intact 19th century set-back row house blocks on the western flank of the greater Gowanus area.

State / National Register Historic District

A proposal has been made to “list” a Gowanus Historic District on the State and National Registers of Historic Places (S/NR). Such listing would not impose regulation over private actions that impact privately owned historic resources. Commercial properties included in the district would be eligible for tax incentives for qualified rehabilitation work. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) consults with government agencies when a government action such as funding or permitting may impact eligible or listed historic resources, or when a State or Federally owned structure within the district is to be altered. In such consultations, SHPO does not have authority to stop the action, but works to persuade government entities to require sensitive treatment of historic resources.

There has been recent controversy surrounding the proposed district. With sufficient public notice, open dialogue could aid the community in reaching consensus on whether or not to support the listing. The district has already been declared “eligible” for the Registers, thus putting it under the consultative authority of SHPO should any public action potentially impact sites within its boundaries. However, to access the tax incentive program for qualified rehabilitation, actual listing of the district (or of individual properties within it) is required.

 

References   [ + ]

1. Many of these and other potential landmark structures in the Gowanus neighborhood are described in a 2012 publication of the Historic Districts Council. See: http://www.6tocelebrate.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/HDC-6toC-Gowanus.pdf”