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April 6, 2017
DEP (718) 595-6600; DDC (718) 391-1583

City Investing $31 Million to Refurbish Historic Brooklyn Building

Historic Bed-Stuy Building

Neo‐Classical Style Building on Flushing Avenue Houses DEP Water Tunnel Maintenance Staff

Historical Photos of the Building are Available on DEP’s Flickr Page

The New York City Departments of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Design and Construction (DDC) today announced that a $31 million project is underway to refurbish and upgrade a historic building on Flushing Avenue in Brooklyn that currently houses DEP water tunnel and shaft maintenance staff. The three-story building exhibits a Neo‐Classical/Neo‐Egyptian style of architecture with an exterior façade featuring walls made of masonry, stone, and brick. Although the building is not designated a New York City Landmark, its appearance and design elements are of landmark quality and, therefore, DEP and DDC are endeavoring to refurbish, upgrade and preserve the building. Funding for the project is being provided by DEP while DDC is managing the construction, which is anticipated to conclude in 2018.

“By investing $31 million into the rehabilitation of this historic building, we will ensure that the staff that maintain the City’s critical water tunnels and shafts will be able to complete their work in a safe and efficient manner,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We thank our partners at DDC for helping us to preserve the unique character of the building, and its role in the history of the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood and City government.

“The restoration to the shaft maintenance facility will upgrade the building to its full code compliant functionality, while preserving its historical elements. With the help of our partner DEP, along with our talented architects and contractors, we look forward to successful completion,” said DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora.

Erected circa 1904, the building is roughly 105,000 square feet in size and occupies a full city block in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, bordered by Flushing Avenue, Kent Avenue, Little Nassau Street and Taaffe Place. The structure was designed by Warren & Wetmore, an influential architectural firm active in the early 20th century that also designed Grand Central Terminal, among other city landmarks.

The restoration includes masonry façade repair; a new roof; structural rehabilitation, including new steel framework and concrete for the garage floors and ramps; and repairs to the parapets and lintels of all windows. Additional work includes a new woman’s locker room and bathroom; the installation of handicap accessible ramps and lifts; new steel staircases, including railings and security cages; and new hot water heaters. Other upgrades are a new HVAC system to heat and ventilate the garages, new electric panels, and the installation of a climate-controlled map room. These improvements, including waterproofing and fireproofing, will allow the facility to continue to operate under the safest standards for the foreseeable future. The building currently houses office space, a machine shop, locker rooms and storage space for DEP’s water tunnel and shaft maintenance staff.

Originally, the facility was commissioned by the Street Cleaning Department, an early version of today’s Department of Sanitation. It cost approximately $300,000 to construct and included a blacksmith’s workshop, wheel-wright works, and 250 horse stalls. In 1934, the Department of Water Supply, Gas & Electricity purchased the building, then known as “Brooklyn Department of Street Cleaning's Stable and Chateau,” from the Department of Sanitation. The Department of Water Supply, Gas & Electricity was consolidating their repair facilities at the time, which were spread across the borough, and chose the building as their new headquarters. The agency obtained over $400,000 in funding from the Works Progress Administration (part of then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt's historic New Deal program) to completely retrofit the building in 1936.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing approximately 1 billion gallons of high quality drinking water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City. The water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the city, comprising 19 reservoirs and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,500 miles of sewer lines and 96 pump stations take wastewater to 14 in-city treatment plants. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 in the upstate watershed. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program, with a planned $20.7 billion in investments over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit

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NYC Department of Environmental Protection
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59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600