One is Scandinavian. The other was out of this world. But both trailblazing artists are heading to the Museum of the Moving Image. On November 2nd, the Astoria institution pays tribute to recently deceased musician Lou Reed (above) by screening the documentary Berlin. After his 1972 song “Walk on the Wild Side” made him famous, Reed recorded a mournful concept album called “Berlin” in 1973. The initial harsh reviews — Rolling Stone magazine called it a “disaster” — prevented the Brooklyn born songwriter from performing the album live until three decades later, when the tides had turned and it was considered one of Reed’s best. With painter and director Julian Schnabel art-directing, the documentary uses footage from five 2006 performances with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus at DUMBO’s St. Ann’s Warehouse. (Schnabel will introduce the movie in person.) Plus, from November 1st through November 9th, the museum presents a retrospective on filmmaker Anja Breien, featuring six features and a program of shorts with the director in person for some screenings and the opening reception. Highly celebrated in her native Norway but little-known outside, Breien makes political and feminist fiction flicks and documentaries. Her first big one, a critique of the Norwegian judicial system called “Rape,” starts simultaneously at the beginning and the end, working its way into the middle. Her riposte Wives (below) follows three housewives who relinquish family responsibilities for a day. Its sequel featured the same characters played by the same actors 10 years later. See full retrospective schedule here.

Details: Berlin, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, November 2nd, 7:30 pm, free with admission, $12 adults/$9 seniors and students.

Bonus details: Retrospective on Anja Breien, Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Avenue, Astoria, November 1st through November 9th, times vary, free.


City officials broke ground today on the St. Ann’s Warehouse redevelopment of the Tobacco Warehouse on the Dumbo waterfront. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, outgoing Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Council Member Stephen Levin all spoke, along with State Senator Daniel Squadron, Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer and St. Ann’s Warehouse Artistic Director Susan Feldman and its executive director Andrew Hamingson.

The $27,000,000 project will revamp the 150-year-old building at 26 New Dock Street in Brooklyn Bridge Park into a 25,000-square-foot performing arts center and community hub. Marvel Architects are designing the 18,000 square-foot building, which will have a flexible performance space, offices, waterside lobby, and a separate 1,000-square-foot multi-use community space for local artists, education and community groups. The 7,600-square-foot triangle space in the warehouse will become an open air courtyard “imagined as a walled birch tree grove,” which will be landscaped and open to the public. Construction is scheduled to wrap in 2015.

Click through the jump to see the renderings!

New Architect for St. Ann’s Warehouse [Brownstoner] GMAP


Via press release:

An agreement reached [yesterday] will provide for the expansion of Brooklyn Bridge Park and for the preservation of historic structures at the Park, substituting new parkland for any lost if regulatory approvals are secured to re-use the structures for other cultural or commercial purposes. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, Brooklyn Heights Association, Fulton Ferry Landing Association, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Preservation League of New York State, and St. Ann’s Warehouse, a non-profit Brooklyn-based performing arts organization, have settled a disagreement over the process for developing part of the park, which houses two historically significant structures. The Agreement – which resulted from litigation brought by the Brooklyn Heights Association, the Fulton Ferry Landing Association, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and the Preservation League of New York State — will require state legislation and National Park Service approval to effectuate any development and re-use of the structures. Subsequent to this agreement, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Joan Millman secured an additional community planning process and expanded community participation. The agreement will allow for the preservation and adaptive re-use of the historic Empire Stores as a mixed-use retail and commercial development that will provide vital revenue to help fund Brooklyn Bridge Park’s operation and maintenance costs. These improvements will restore the Empire Stores, which is currently in deteriorated condition and closed to the public. The agreement also sets the stage for the preservation of the Tobacco Warehouse and starts a process to secure regulatory approval for re-use of that structure as a cultural and community-use venue. Redevelopment of the Tobacco Warehouse would create a theater space, an outdoor public garden, and a community room for use by schools, community organizations and the public. St. Ann’s Warehouse has been conditionally designated as the lessee of the Tobacco Warehouse.

The Daily News has a translation of the news in English that is comprehensible: “Under the settlement, the St. Ann’s plan, which includes a theater space and an outdoor garden, will be able to go forward – eventually. First, city officials will have to get state legislation and approval from the National Parks Service for the development, expected to take about a year. The city will move the paint shed and water meter testing facility currently located under the bridge and turn it into part of the park, a Bloomberg spokeswoman said.” Here’s hoping this all works out.
Brooklyn Bridge Park to Expand Under Deal to Settle Tobacco Warehouse Lawsuit [NY Daily News]


Here are the plans St. Ann’s Warehouse is proposing to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for its new location at 29 Jay Street. The changes to the building are minor (the theater company is only signing a three-year lease) and include signage, lighting changes, and a door installed in the existing garage door. St. Ann’s hopes to open up the 19,000-square-foot space for performances this November.
St. Ann’s Warehouse is Heading to the LPC [Brownstoner]
St. Ann’s Finds a New House in Dumbo [Brownstoner] GMAP
Image by Flyleaf Creative, Inc


Later this month Dumbo’s St. Ann’s Warehouse heads to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for permission to renovate its new home at 29 Jay Street. The application is to “alter the facade, and install signage and lighting.” According to a Wall Street Journal article on the matter, the theater company hopes to open at 29 Jay this November. The organization’s space is 19,000 square feet, which is 5,000 square feet larger than the current location. St. Ann’s is leaving its current home after the landlord took back the space and a court ruling prevented the theater from relocating to the Tobacco Warehouse.
St. Ann’s Finds a New House in Dumbo [Brownstoner] GMAP


A judge’s ruling last week that Dumbo’s Tobacco Warehouse must remain under the designation of federal parkland was a death blow for arts organization St. Ann’s Warehouse, which had been planning to redevelop the space, but it also raised questions about how the waterfront property will be used in the future, as an article in The Journal explores. According to the story, it’s likely that the warehouse will still be “semi-public” for the time being, but Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp., which oversees the warehouses, says the organization is still looking into what to do with it in the long term. Jane McGroarty, president of the Brooklyn Heights Association, one of the community groups that sued over the warehouse’s transfer, says the following: “Frankly I think there are a lot of people who think that the Tobacco Warehouse should remain without a roof and as a public space.” The story also notes that possible future uses envisioned by community groups include a performance space and skating rink.
Ruling Leaves Unclear Path [WSJ]
It’s Official: No St. Ann’s for Tobacco Warehouse [Brownstoner]
Photo by Listen Missy!


The Times reports that the clock is ticking for St. Ann’s Warehouse to find a new home following a ruling that prevents the arts organization from relocating to the Tobacco Warehouse in Dumbo. St. Ann’s is scheduled to leave its current home, a few blocks away from the Tobacco Warehouse, next May to make way for Two Trees’ Dock Street development. The organization’s plans for the Tobacco Warehouse—which a federal judge ruled in April was part of Empire Fulton Ferry State Park, and therefore could not be taken over by any single group—involved a 10,250-square-foot theater, a 7,000-square-foot public garden and a 2,100-square-foot community hall. Now Susan Feldman, the artistic director of St. Ann’s, says its unclear where the organization will go next: “It leaves us maybe having to leave Dumbo. Perhaps even leaving Brooklyn. None of us want that, but the theater we do at St. Ann’s doesn’t easily fit into pre-existing spaces that we’ve seen, and we want to continue to do that work.”
St. Ann’s Warehouse Scrambles to Find New Home [NY Times]
Photo by joel@eeriepa