Today the Whole Foods in Gowanus opened with considerable fanfare—vinyl records! Brooklyn-made treats! A rooftop beer garden!—attracting a stampede of hungry Brooklynites and apparently, a few Park Slope Co-op defectors (hey, in our experience, Whole Foods’ management of lines is very impressive). But the decrepit Coignet Building, the 140-year-old concrete mansion located just five feet from the gleaming new grocery store, is not sharing in all the bonhomie.
Though Whole Foods seemed like it might be a boon for the landmarked building—when the building’s owner, Richard Kowalski sold Whole Foods the lot in 2005 he extracted a promise from the bougie retailer to restore its exterior. But while Whole Foods has provided a new roof, the structure is otherwise worse for the wear, according to Brownstoner, having apparently sustained serious injuries during the grocery store’s construction. Read More