Brooklyn residents seek protection for Civil War-era buildings

April 27, 2011 10:39AM

From left: Empire Stores and the Tobacco Warehouse

In its bid to beautify Empire Fulton Ferry State Park — the park between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges in Brooklyn — the city has caught the ire of residents who don’t want to see two Civil War-era buildings disappear. According to the Wall Street Journal, the roofless Tobacco Warehouse and the Empire Stores were dropped from a redrawn state map of the park because parks officials said they weren’t suitable for use in public outdoor recreation. The city courted proposals for the buildings and selected one by the performing-arts group St. Ann’s Warehouse to use the Tobacco warehouse as a theater. But preservation groups filed a lawsuit fearing that the buildings would be open to commercial development. As previously reported, on April 8, a U.S. District Court judge ordered that the buildings be protected, yet the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp., the city-controlled park administrator, still intends to support plans for St. Ann’s to use the building. The theater group’s old space on Dock Street, owned by Two Trees Management, is being transformed into a mixed-use building that will include a 300-seat middle school as per a deal signed with the city. [WSJ]

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