A new project at Fulton Ferry Landing did not float past the LPC yesterday morning.
Brothers Miles and Alexander Pincus, the team behind Island Oyster, Grand Banks and Pilot, plan to open a bar and restaurant on the pier, which will replace Buzzy’s Bar. Representatives for Brooklyn Bridge Park, who manage the space, as well as the Pincus brothers, propose to construct a pavilion on the pier, create additional outdoor seating there, and dock a recently retired RDNY vintage fireboat there to house the restaurant and bar.
The new pavilion would be attached to a small shed that was once part of the Marine Fire Boat Station, where Brooklyn Ice Cream Co. is located now. (Ample Hills will replace it, the park said earlier this year. Meanwhile, the owner of Buzzy’s Bar, who also founded the storied River Cafe, recently opened another bar nearby in Dumbo.)
The idea behind the design, said Alex Pincus, was to create something that was “clean, minimalist and as airy as possible.” Starling Architecture is the firm behind the design.
Six people provided testimony, five of whom did not approve of the proposal in front of them. Some, like a representative for the Historic Districts Council, said they were less critical of the design than the placement of the new structure, which would take over public space on the landing. Others felt the entire thing was unnecessary. “This is an absolutely unique public space,” said Christabel Gough. The proposal, she added, “should have never come this far.”
This argument extended to the commission, which was split in their opinion and landed on a vote of “no action,” which means the team behind the proposal will refine what they have and come back again.
Fred Bland began the commission’s discussion period with impassioned comments. Fulton Ferry Landing is “the one iconic spot in all of the city,” he said, adding that the project would “compromise all kinds of extraordinary, unique views.” His opinion, which many of the other commissioners backed, was that nothing was appropriate for the site and that it should be left alone.
Others, like LPC Chair Sarah Carroll and Commissioner Michael Goldblum, said they were not against a structure being constructed here, just not this one. Commissioner Jeanne Lufty echoed what others were feeling when she said that the proposed structure was “too solid a presence.”
She told the team behind the proposal to take a look at some of the temporary structures currently at South Street Seaport as inspiration. “I would recommend exploring this further,” she said.
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