I am happy to learn that the hard work of a Gowanus neighbor of mine has paid off. This person, who chooses to remain anonymous, has been tirelessly working to get the Gowanus Urban Industrial district considered for preservation since before the Toll Brothers knocked down the Blades-Forman Lumber Company warehouse at the end of 2nd street near the canal (which should of been landmarked) back in December 2007.
Contrary to what many developers say, there are many beautiful buildings in the Gowanus which exude their own unique industrial revolution era charm. The type of charm which has vanished from other parts of Brooklyn and other parts of the city and needs to stay. The Gowanus district spans from Butler up to Hamilton Avenue and is bordered by Hoyt and 4th Avenues. It really is quite larger than most people think. Since 4th Avenue has been partially destroyed and marred by some pretty fugly condo buildings it is a bit of a relief that an agency in NYC actually cares about maintaining what is so special about the Gowanus corridor.
The Gowanus has been chosen along with 5 other neighborhoods in the five boroughs by the New York Historic District Council as part of a program called "Six to Celebrate". The other neighborhoods chosen are Bedford-Stuyvesant,Jackson Heights, The Bowery, Mt. Morris Park and Inwood.
Here are the details from the New York Historic Distict Council's website.
"The six, chosen from applications submitted by community organizations, were selected on the basis of the architectural and historic merit of the area, the level of threat to the neighborhood, strength and willingness of the local advocates, and potential for HDC’s preservation support to be meaningful. Throughout 2011, its 40th anniversary year, HDC will work with these neighborhood partners to set and reach preservation goals through strategic planning, advocacy, outreach, programs and publicity.
“Neighborhoods throughout New York are fighting an unseen struggle to determine their own futures. By bringing these locally-driven neighborhood preservation efforts into the spotlight, HDC hopes to focus New Yorkers’ attention on the very real threats that historic communities throughout the city are facing from indiscriminate and inappropriate development.” said Simeon Bankoff, HDC’s Executive Director. “As the first list of its kind in New York, the Six to Celebrate will help raise awareness of local efforts to save neighborhoods on a citywide level.”
Read more at the Historic District Council's website here.