Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Former City of New York Water Supply-Distribution, Gowanus Station
Address: 226 Nevins Street
Cross Streets: Corner of Butler Street
Year Built: Around 1911 for Butler St. Nevins street building, after 1916.
Architectural Style: Late 19th-early 20th century brick factory style buildings
The story: Everyone who loves all kinds of industrial architecture should wander around Gowanus. Perhaps you should do it sooner rather than later, if recent rumors of mass construction prove to be true, especially in the outer parts of the district, away from brownfields and the canal. In a car, Gowanus can be a maze of one-way streets and short streets with familiar names that are suddenly blocked off by other streets, the canal, or housing projects. But walking – that’s where you can really get a feel for the Gowanus that was, a hub of industry and manufacturing, with layers of history stacked on top of each other, with buildings that span the businesses that thrived from the last quarter of the 19th century, to the present day.
As times change, so too do the functions of these buildings. Some are easily converted into new kinds of businesses, while others don’t do so well. Some could be, and have been, converted into new housing, or event spaces, restaurants and galleries, while others can’t be imagined as anything but an empty lot upon which new buildings can be built. I always enjoy wandering around Gowanus, because I don’t know it well, and am always surprised when I run across a building that I’ve never seen before. Like this one, the former City of New York Water Supply, Distribution – Gowanus Station. (more…)