Water Supply-Distribution Gowanus Station
Updated: Jun 29, 2019
The first thing I noticed are the big terra cotta words at the top: bold, proud and municipal—a relic from the (imagined?) days when craftspeople cared about details:
City of New York
And above that, a simplified seal of the city of New York, with windmill, beavers and barrels.
Secondly, I like the remoteness of this part of Boerum Hill, much of which, over the past 40 years, has gotten fancy.
Thirdly, the location—a block from from the Gowanus Canal. The building, originally built by the city in 1913 as a pumping station for the perpetually fetid canal, is now privately owned.
In 2018, the city council approved an order of eminent domain in order to demolish the building for a combined sewage overflow tank (too much rain—sewage has no place to go, thus, the holding tanks), a worthy goal, but another bygone era relic loss
Read all about it here:
The city deciders (in this case, members of the city council who Ok’d the eventual demolition) could take a cue from the former ASPCA building across the street, now the site of Public Records Café/Bar—a tranquilly-lit, and somewhat weird space with a DJ booth.
234 Butler Street