The Coignet building—a classical structure executed in concrete at 360 Third Avenue in Gowanus—has had a strange allure since the day it was completed in 1873. An elegant mansion in the midst of an industrial zone, it served as both an office building and an advertisement for the material being manufactured in the factory complex behind it, deftly melding disparate elements in a fashion that passerby have long found beguiling.
But the building has languished, empty and deteriorating, for decades. Located on the edge of a vast lot that will soon be occupied by a Whole Foods, it is the lone remnant of the industrial landscape it once anchored. Now, there is a possibility that it may finally be restored and occupied, presiding not just over the neighborhood’s past, but playing a role in its future as well. The building’s owner—Richard Kowalski—has put the mansion on the market with Massey Knakal (a development first spotted by the blog Pardon Me for Asking).
The Transom’s path to Proteus Gowanus, where we were headed to investigate an unusual holiday fair, took us straight over the canal. The sight of the mint-green water—looking even more ominous than usual on a rainy Sunday—inspired a case of rabbit-run-over-your-grave shivers, which turned out to be precisely the right state of mind for a first encounter with the Morbid Anatomy Library. Part art exhibit, part research library “surveying the interstices of art and medicine, death and culture,” Morbid Anatomy is also a privately held cabinet of wonders, open (by appointment, usually) to the curious public.
Rock You Like a Hurricane
Many of the blocks along the shores of the toxic Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn are designated as part of the mandatory Hurricane Sandy evacuation Zone A. Though the city gave orders for residents of this area to leave their homes starting at 7 p.m., we spotted quite a few people out on the streets when we walked into the zone earlier this evening, including curious gawkers, emergency workers and neighbors who are becoming increasingly fearful that the notoriously polluted canal could overflow.
THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD
It may be a favored sport of retirees (it’s right up there with bridge and watching Wheel of Fortune), but Gowanus residents are worried that plans to build a bar with regulation-size shuffleboard courts will bring rowdy, inebriated crowds to their neighborhood, The Brooklyn Paper reports.
Where's the rent?
So many New Yorkers have lofty dreams when it comes to real estate, but who would have imagined that a Brooklyn loft-dweller would net nine years of free rent?
The seven-year roller coaster ride that has been Whole Foods’ Brooklyn saga may be taking another nose dive. The blissful ride started in 2005, long before Brian Williams had ever heard of Brooklyn. It slowed to a snail’s pace in 2007 and then completely halted in 2008 in the midst of the grotesque Gowanus Canal’s Superfunding. New York State was nice enough to clean up the property and set Whole Foods back on track in 2010.
The whole ordeal has left us twisted and nauseous from the bureaucratic and communal ups, downs, and loop-de-loops. (Or maybe the toxins are making us nauseous.) Regardless, Whole Foods might be one rubber stamp away from approval, but the Gowanus locals are not succumbing without one last fight.
On Saturday afternoon, a security guard sat in the back seat of an idling white jeep, watching over a 2.1-acre patch of dirt near the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. There was an overflowing can of garbage next to the car’s front bumper and a puddle of groundwater nearby. Just across the canal, against the backdrop Read More
Preserve and Report
Depending on whom you ask, the greatest tragedy to ever befall Brooklyn was the loss of the Dodgers to LA. But thanks to some internet sleuths, a piece of Dodger history on the shores of the Gowanus Canal has been saved.
Earlier this year, Gothamist began snooping around a wall on Third Avenue that Read More
On a recent sunny Saturday morning, a group of 30- to 40-something Carroll Gardens locals stood outside Carroll Park at a table manned by local community activists, their discussion rife with words like “developers” and “preservation.” Upset that the nearby Hannah Senesh Community Day School was seeking a variance that would allow it to acquire public Read More