Gowanus Lounge: Serving Brooklyn

Markowitz Calls for Demolition of Admiral’s Row & “Food Justice”

July 23rd, 2008 · 4 Comments

Borough President Marty Markowitz has long favored the demolition of the historic Admiral’s Row structures and he took the opportunity of a hearing last night to reiterate his support for “food justice” for resident of nearby public housing and for demolishing the buildings. Here is part of the staterment that his office distributed:

I know I speak for all of us here today when I say historical preservation is crucial. Residents from all over the borough have been part of successful efforts to use zoning and landmarking to preserve Brooklyn’s rich history. In this case, however, the structural viability makes a preservation project much too costly, and what the families living in this area need urgently is a quality supermarket. As it stands, too many Brooklynites are not within walking distance of supermarkets, which have been closing at alarming rates citywide. It is unconscionable that in this modern city, there are those for whom access to fresh fruits and vegetables—basic staples that keep Brooklynites and New Yorkers healthy and strong—is considered a luxury. We must do everything we can to reverse that trend.

Furthermore, the neighborhood around the Brooklyn Navy Yard will reap enormous benefits from the employment opportunities created by a new industrial building. Local residents will be considered first for these jobs, which will give the area a much-needed economic boost.

Believe me, nobody cares more than I do about preserving Brooklyn’s history and heritage. But I also believe in preserving Brooklyn’s residents—making sure that our health and well-being is protected for this generation and in the days ahead. As it was written in Ecclesiastes: “To everything, there is a season. A time to reap, a time to sow.” And, to paraphrase a bit: “A time to preserve—and a time to build supermarkets and promote nutrition.” Simply put, the time for deliberation is over. We must make this project a reality and get this neighborhood the economic investment and “food justice” it deserves.

The Army Corp of Engineers has found that the buildings can be saved and still have both structural and historical integrity. (We have made the case on numerous occasions that there is a way to save the Admiral’s Row buildings and to develop the property for a supermarket.) The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corp. wants to use the land occupied by historic buildings, in part, for parking. There has been growing sentiment to both accommodate a supermarket and to save the buildings, which could be fully restored for as little as $19.6 million. A community session will be coming up in August sponsored by a range of groups including the Municipal Art Society, the Historic Districts Council, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Fort Greene Association, Historic Wallabout Association, and the Society for Clinton Hill. More on the argument for an alternative strategy later.

Tags: Historic Preservation

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gari N. Corp // Jul 23, 2008 at 10:18 am

    Persuading Marty that the supermarket and some of the structures can co-exist is to presuppose that Marty can hold two ideas in his head at the same time, or even grasp one at above fourth-grade level.

  • 2 bigmissfrenchie // Jul 23, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    The very idea that Marty Markowitz supports historical preservation in any shape or form is downright laughable. If it was up to him, the whole borough would be razed to the ground and replaced with high rise towers and box stores.

  • 3 Jason // Jul 24, 2008 at 11:28 am

    How in the world did we ever get saddled with this guy? Just another politician looking to build their pyramids. Thank god for term limits – the countdown to post Marty Brooklyn marches on.

  • 4 bismissfrenchie // Jul 24, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    Well, the only problem with Brooklyn finally getting rid of him is that you know he’s got bigger plans for himself. Mayor Marty-now there’s something to be scared of. He’d make Bloomberg look like a preservationist!