For Immediate Release: October 29, 2019
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LPC Designates Five Historic Buildings in Gowanus as Individual Landmarks
These five industrial buildings represent the area's most prominent, architecturally distinctive and historically significant properties.
New York – Today, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) designated five historic buildings in Gowanus as individual landmarks: the Somers Brothers Tinware Factory (later American Can Company) at 238-246 3rd Street; the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company (BRT) Central Power Station Engine House at 153 2nd Street; the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel Pumping Station and Gate House at 196 Butler Street; the Montauk Paint Manufacturing Company Building at 170 2nd Avenue, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Brooklyn Office, Shelter and Garage at 233 Butler Street.
LPC prioritized the designation of these buildings as part of the Administration's multi-agency effort to plan for Gowanus' future. The agency worked with the Department of City Planning, key stakeholders, and the community to inform the planning process and identify preservation opportunities in the neighborhood. These five buildings represent the area's most prominent, architecturally distinctive and historically significant properties.
"I am thrilled the Commission voted to designate these five architecturally and historically significant buildings in Gowanus as individual landmarks," said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll. "These buildings stand out in the neighborhood as tangible reminders of the rich history of the neighborhood and the Gowanus Canal. They are all inherently connected to the manufacturing industries and institutions that developed around the canal in the late-19th and early-20th century."
These five properties recognize the unique development history of Gowanus, which became a hub of industry and commerce after the construction of the canal in the 19th century. Built between 1884 and 1913 for utilitarian purposes, for industry and manufacturing, these buildings are prominent within the neighborhood and have adapted over time in response to the changes in industrial activity and the neighborhood itself.
"DEP invested more than $177 million to rehabilitate and upgrade the Gowanus Canal Flushing Tunnel and Pump Station in order to improve the health of the Canal while also ensuring that the facilities retain their historic character," said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. "We deeply value the architectural integrity of these historic structures and thank the Landmarks Preservation Commission for their commitment to preserving and celebrating industrial architecture that inspires civic pride."
"The buildings that the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate today are among the most striking examples of industrial development in Gowanus from a century ago," said Council Member Brad Lander. "Landmarking these structures will help us to retain and enhance the arts and industry that have long shaped this neighborhood, one important element of our work together toward a more inclusive, sustainable, vibrant, and mixed-use future in Gowanus."
"The Historic Districts Council is thrilled that the Landmarks Preservation Commission has taken this crucial first step to preserving the historic character of Gowanus," said Simeon Bankoff, Executive Director of the Historic Districts Council.
"Landmarking these five properties will help to preserve some of the significant architectural and industrial structures in Gowanus," said Brad Vogel, Co-Founder of the Gowanus Landmarking Coalition. "These buildings represent and illustrate the Gowanus corridor's authentic industrial past."
The Landmarks Preservation Commission is the mayoral agency responsible for protecting and preserving New York City's architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites. Since its creation in 1965, LPC has granted landmark status to more than 37,000 buildings and sites, including 1,435 individual landmarks, 120 interior landmarks, 11 scenic landmarks, and 149 historic districts and extensions in all five boroughs. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/landmarks and connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCLandmarks and www.twitter.com/nyclandmarks.