Old Fulton Street Site To Remain Vacant After Landmarks Rejects Proposal

The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday rejected a proposal for a one-story commercial building on Old Fulton Street, Evan Bindelglass reported for Curbed NY. The lot at 20 Old Fulton Street (between Everit and Elizabeth) has been vacant since for nearly 40 years.

The proposal was for a building with a roof with sloped parapets leading to non-uniform awnings. It would have housed three businesses. The commissioners would love to see the site developed, but did not look favorably on the design or materials, pointing to the use of rust-dripping corten steel, the non-uniform awning, and the general “temporary” look of the building, Bindelglass reported. The developer is free to re-design and re-apply to the commission.

Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist and contributor to Curbed NY. He also contributes to Brooklyn Heights Blog. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.

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  • GHB

    Why don’t they just throw up another 40-storey monstrosity!

  • Heights Observer

    Is there a height restriction for this location? If not, uh-oh!

  • petercow

    The proposed building was an out-of-context piece of crap. Landmarks did its job.

  • petercow

    Yes – it’s part of the Fulton Ferry Historic District (which is why Landmarks had purview).

  • Jorale-man

    Why is it so hard to come up with good architecture in NYC? Look at many other cities around the world and they’re able to apply standards of taste, context, sophistication, etc. In NYC, those values are lost so often in the churn of building higher or cheaper.

  • Eddyde

    Whew. That half-assed shanty would have been a real eyesore. Thanks LPC.

  • fultonferryres

    Funny though, that the CB2 Land Use Committee approved it back in June, because those morons (minus Irene and Judy) will rubber-stamp anything!

  • Robert Perris

    Actually, the committee vote was 6-3-2, so the motion passed by a single vote. The community board’s determination letter was critical of the “high degree of ground floor glazing,” stating that typology is more typical of DUMBO than Fulton Ferry Landing and noting the former Eagle Warehouse, the building just to the east, has “a proportionately low amount of fenestration.” The letter was also critical of the metal awnings, stating, “This element of the design may have evolved so
    far from the precedent to render the source irrelevant.” In closing, CB2 Chairperson Shirley A. McRae wrote, “I encourage the commissioners to take a hard look at the proposed design for 20 Old Fulton Street.”

  • fultonferryres

    Thanks for the clarification, Rob, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that 6 members voted FOR the proposal. And what of those abstentions? Is it that hard to take a position? One of those two voters seems to have a habit of abstention. I’d love to see her voting record.

  • Robert Perris

    I am just saying 55% in favor is hardly a rubber stamp. For many board and committee members, an abstention is a soft ‘no;’ go figure. If you want to call me at the office to discuss your concerns, please do.

  • Eatnpark

    Yes there is an easement on the lot

  • bklyn20

    BHB, I am sorry to say that you are mistaken.
    The lot was not empty for 40 years. From approximately 1978 – 2004, the space served as a parking lot for the residents of 7 Everit Street (the adjoining building), the Eagle Warehuse and other Fulton Ferry buildings.

    It’s thought that 7 Everit was built as a firehouse or stable in the 19th century. At that time horses pulled firetrucks, so the “empty lot” was where the horses were exercised and where the firetrucks (or carriages?) were stored. The 7 Everit building has a sort of pole protruding from the top level – that was used to hoist bales of hay into what are now co-op windows. Rather than stairs, a ramp went up to the higher floors so the horses could get to their stalls.

    In the early 1980s, the building and the yard were turned into c. 6 co-op apartments, and great care was taken to work with landmarks to achieve harmony with the surrrounding buildings. The door of the lot was a special color of brown, approved by Landmarks; the current red paint is probably a violation. 7 Everit Street was featured in the NY Times Design/Home Section. The building and the yard are iconic Fulton Ferry structures. If anything is built there, 20 Old Fulton Street should become a contextual building that reflects the history and aesthetic of the historic Fulton Ferry Landing District.

  • Eddyde

    Sorry, a parking lot = empty, as in, no permanent structure.

  • bklyn20

    Well, the people who had guaranteed parking very close to their homes (and not one surrounded by a chain-link fence) certainly didn’t find it vacant.