Gowanus Coal Pockets Demolished

The iconic coal pockets on the banks of the Gowanus Canal, a reminder of the area’s industrial past, were torn down last week, Pardon Me For Asking reported. The Burns Brothers coal pockets sat on 6th Street between 2nd and 3rd avenues, not far from Whole Foods. The century-old concrete cylinders were demolished to make way for a new office development, according to Curbed.

The eight pockets were built between 1915 and 1924 and used until 1938, said PMFA’s Katia Kelly. The 40- and 50-foot-tall structures were used to store coal that had arrived on the barges in the canal for subsequent delivery on wagons and trucks. Meanwhile, Lightstone began knocking down the large silos on Carroll Street earlier this month to prepare for its huge 12-story, 700-unit residential development.

“Gowanus, as we know it, is disappearing before our eyes,” Kelly wrote.

Another Gowanus Landmark Bites the Dust: Burns Brothers’ Coal Pockets [PFMA]
Photo by Eymund Diegel for PMFA

6 Comment

  • ““Gowanus, as we know it, is disappearing before our eyes…” and far as most of it goes, the sooner the better. Seriously, people need to stop romanticizing abandoned hulks of extinct industries. Would they rather have concrete hulks that haven’t been used in 75 years, or an actively used space that brings life and commerce into the area?

  • Hope someone is preserving this stuff, at least in photographs. I recently discovered the fascinating, if super-scary photographs of the Bechers. Just wow…

  • I think they’re cool. I like seeing remnants of an industrial past. We still have industry, only everything is made overseas. I think it’s better for us to know where our products come from, and what makes things run, rather than hiding it away somewhere. Too bad. I like that they were called “pockets” too.

  • Being around this neighborhood for many years I agree that the landscape has been changing rapidly. I just wanted to clear up some statements that have been made on this site as well as some others. While we are in the process of demolition for the silos, and sad to see them go, this has been mainly due to the deterioration of these old structures over the years. While we have done some costly maintenance to the silos, the city of NY and our engineer have made recommendations that the structures should be demolished due to safety reasons.

    Also, we have NO association with the adjacent property’s office development. That is another owner and has nothing to do with this project. At this time we will just use the open space for our existing business