The Real Deal New York

State board delays vote on Gowanus “historic district”

City requests two more months to study plans for 53-block stretch
March 17, 2014 08:35AM

A state preservation board’s vote on the historic designation of the 1.8-mile Gowanus Canal – and a section of Gowanus containing more than 400 properties – has been pushed back two months.

Eight years after determining the district was ineligible for the designation, the state Historic Preservation Office planned to vote again last week. The city requested more time to review the proposal of a neighborhood group known as Friends and Residents of Greater Gowanus, the New York Daily News reported.

The Gowanus Canal Community Development Corp., one of the plan’s opponents, argued that granting the designation would harm future development and prevent the creation of more jobs in the area. The proposed historic district would span 53 blocks and include several bridges and rowhomes, warehouses and industrial buildings.

Meanwhile, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission plans to slap owners of the new Gowanus Whole Foods with a second fine for neglecting a dilapidated historic building next to the grocery store, as previously reported. [NYDN]Mark Maurer

  • Citizen1001

    Portion from Historic District Council’s email notice on Gowanus National Registry Listing:
    comments (from GCCDC) do not make sense. The area was declared eligible for the
    National Register in 2006, which means that for the past 8 years, the
    State Historic Preservation Office has been reviewing and commenting on
    any permits which involve state or federal government actions or funds.
    The regulatory “burden” – what little there is – has been in place for 8
    years. The sole change that listing the district on the Register would
    be to make it possible for projects in the district to apply for NY
    State and Federal tax credits for rehabilitative work. That’s it. It is
    entirely voluntary – listing on the Register does not place private
    development under any kind of regulation. It encourages investment and
    economic development with tax incentives. But that is only a by-product
    of the listing. The real purpose of listing on the National Register is
    to acknowledge and raise awareness of the importance of a site to the
    history of our country, to change the conversation from “the notoriously
    polluted Gowanus” to “the canal which built Brooklyn”. It seems that
    some people are happier with deriding and demeaning the neighborhood
    than celebrating it. Let’s not let their bleak vision triumph.