AMNY Spotlights a Couple Fading Brooklyn Beauts

It’s a good week for crumbling historic buildings, or at least a good week in terms of media spotlighting some old gems that are going to seed. AMNY has a list today of 10 historic buildings in the five boroughs that seem to be dying of neglect. Brooklyn’s two entries are the Empire Stores (“Workers are stabilizing the vacant Civil War-era warehouses’ arched windows and repairing a large crack on the building’s northwest corner. There are currently no plans for the state-owned buildings”) on Dumbo’s Water Street and 100 Clark Street (“Fearing the apartment complex, in the Brooklyn Heights historic district, could collapse, the city in May evacuated tenants and removed the top two floors from the five-story building. The owner has submitted a plan to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to stabilize the 1850s building.”). What other Brooklyn buildings should be on the list?
10 Historic New York Buildings Now Eyesores [AMNY]
Photos from AMNY.

0 Comment

  • Why is Empire just sitting there? That has to be a hugely valuable piece of property. What’s the hold-up?

  • The Empire stores will go the way of Admiral’s Row if some group doesn’t step in soon. Its a shame.

  • The first group(Boymill Green) that was given the Empire stores to re do, defaulted(?) and it was taken back(by ESDC). So far no one has submitted a viable plan, they are land marked and not easy to work with. The Brooklyn Bridge Park people and Two tree have been in discussion but they don’t get along well as the carousel issue shows.

  • It’s not really accurate to say that there are no plans for Empire Stores. It has been in the Brooklyn Bridge Park plan for a long time. THere was an RFP for it a couple of years ago the Boymelgreen won, but he never actually did anything. As I understand it, the building is still one of the commercial sites that the Park hopes to use to provide some revenue money to help upkeep the park – so they must be planning on doing another RFP for the Stores at some point in the future.

  • If they’re going to give it away to get developed why not try Greg O’Connell. And make Sure Joshua Guttman doesn’t get near it. He’s the guy with the matches.

  • Sorry to be out of the loop on this- what’s the carousel issue? and could someone tell me why the ESDC owns the empire stores property, rather than the city? Was it always so- historically? There’s a wonderful old warehouse complex not far from me in Crown heights that is supposed to be turned into artist housing. They look like they come from the same era and we’re hoping the plans go through. Not sure if they are landmarked though, which is a big worry.

  • Greg is a great idea- he loves and saves old industrial buildings and re-purposes them. But I thought Red Hook is his thing- does he do anything outside of Red Hook?

  • Carousel Issue is that David Walentas’ wife Jane has bought and restored a beautiful historic carousel and he wants to donate it to the park. He’s been in discussions with the park folks for the last couple of years trying to come to an agreement with them about where in the park it would go and how to make it happen. There have been some (erroneous) reports that the park people don’t want the carousel. I’ve actually heard the new head of the park say that she loves the carousel and is trying to figure out the details. So it’s not really as much of an issue as some people like to think it is.

    Empire Stores is actually not owned by ESDC, but is owned by State Parks as part of Empire-Fulton Ferry Park. Don’t know how the state came to own it, but I’ve heard that at one time they were owned by Con ED. Anyone out there know the full story?

  • Thanks, MMHtPH. I thought maybe the state owned it possibly from the civil war era. If it were war related, it would make sense, but would be interesting to know.

    would love to see that carousel- there were some articles a few months back about the Jewish Brooklyn carvers who made carousels and how their carving related to their work in synagogues.

  • The carousel is beautiful. MMHPH, you seem to have lots of info on it; do you know where within the park they are proposing to place it?

  • bxgirl – you can go see the carousel – it’s on display. It’s in a storefront right next to Jaques Torres chocolate shop on Water Street in DUMBO. It’s worth a trip to DUMBO.
    Biff – I don’t know where it’ll go. I think that’s still one of the big questions.

  • Thanks MMHPH. While I love the idea of having it in the park, I hope, if and when it’s ever put there, it’s stationed subtly, i.e., not smack dab in the middle of an open green area, such as that next to the pirate ship playground – although I would be very surprised to see it there.

    bxgrl, MMHPH is right re: Jacques Torres. The frozen hot chocolate is scrumptious. You can also pick up some tasty treats at Almondine across the street.

    I think the Green Market has also started in DUMBO, but I haven’t been there yet.

  • Thank you both- I’m going to go see the carousel first chance I get. I’ve always loved them! And now that I know there chocolate next door I may have to move there. Unless someone can convince the carousel and chocolate people to move to CHN- now that’s a great notion! Well, for me at least :-)

  • Bxgrl, there’s also an open air art installation within with Empire Stores complex, which is very cool (I think the exhibits rotate regularly).

    While the carousel is roped off and you can’t get too close, you can still get close enough to appreciate the amazing detail and artistry that went into it. You can also sign the petition there to have it placed in the park and operational.


    its open occasionally. I like the carousel.
    The issue is where within the park. Jane wants a specific site and others don’t necessarily agree. There are of course people who are against it for the noise(they also don’t like the concerts either)….

    The State owns it because the city agreed to it so they could get state funding. Same thing with Brooklyn Bridge Park also an ESDC sub.

  • I like the carousel as well. I was disappointed that no one gets to ride it, but the restoration was done very well.

    Something should be done with the Empire Stores. With Galapagos opening soon next door this would generate more interest in the area.

  • give the building to david & jed walentas like they should have when two trees finished 2nd to boymelgreen (only other commercial bidder) in RFP and boymelgreen bid unreal numbers
    and did nothing walentas would have had it done by now….

  • give the building to david & jed walentas like they should have when two trees finished 2nd to boymelgreen (only other commercial bidder) in RFP and boymelgreen bid unreal numbers
    and did nothing walentas would have had it done by now….