Proposals for Historic Empire Stores Are Online

Brooklyn Bridge Park has published all 10 design proposals for what to do with the old Empire Stores buildings, above, it received in response to its call for ideas. For anyone interested in planning, architecture, or repurposing old buildings, it’s fascinating reading. The waterfront complex consists of seven landmarked 19th century coffee warehouses between Main and Dock streets with approximately 327,000 square feet of space. Some of the ideas floated include a green roof, retail, cultural and office space, events on the rooftop, outdoor dining, workshop space, a food exchange, and rooftop topiaries in the shape of giant bunnies and other animals. Proposed structural enhancements include exterior stairwells, glass enclosures on the roof and sides, and an internal circular ramp, some of which seem to echo some famous public buildings such as the Pompidou Center, the Louvre Pyramid and the Guggenheim. The Community Advisory Council will give feedback to the park about the designs April 19, and the winning project will be selected sometime this summer. Which one is your favorite? Click through to the jump to see a gallery of images from the proposals.

10 Comment

  • I think it should be a men’s shelter or the ULTIMATE food court; I see a big Panda Express, Orange Julius, Mrs. Smith Cookies, maybe a Sbarro!

  • I like team 3 and team 6 the best.
    The worst teams are 4 & 7, what part of “protected landmark building” didn’t they understand?
    I think the buildings will be awesome once they are converted.

  • Why not hand them over to Joshua Guttman to ruin like with his property in Greenpoint?

  • Teams 5 and 9 look great. It’s amazing to see the difference a good architect can make on a proposal.

    Also amazing to see how some of these seem to hardly want to embrace the cool old, historic grittiness of these structures. It really makes the ones that do shine.

  • Leave them be. They’re in a flood zone.

  • So tired of this green roof gimmick. This building is in a park, it doesn’t need to BE a park.

    Regardless, I’m excited to see something done with this great building. It could be like Quincy Market or Granville Island.

    I like Teams 6 and 9.

  • I like 3. Really don’t like 4 and 8. The best ones to me are the ones that don’t propose a lot of gimmicks or add-ons, just a restrained touch. Agree that the park-on-a-roof building is odd NEXT TO a park (on the water, no less)…makes more sense in the middle of the urban jungle.

    Curious that none of the renderings show the Dock Street condo looming over the site (except I think team 8, but has it almost cut out of the shot…team 9 makes it look like Water Street will be a wide tree-lined boulevard when in fact this old narrow street will be quite tunnel-like between the blocky mass of the warehouse and the tall condo)

  • Rendering # 9. Its in keeping with the early nineteenth century Brooklyn theme. It compliments the area’s old world charm and architecture. No modern steel “I” beams or glass to clutter up the space, the red bricks adds a nice touch to the parks greenery and blends in nicely with other buildings in the area. In sharp contrast with the lower Manhattan office building look, of which this building overlooks.

    The park on top of the park don’t hurt either.

  • Nobody has proposed luxury condos?