GOWANUS, NY — Local activists plan to hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Gowanus Station next month to call on officials to save the more than 100-year-old building. The building, on Butler and Nevins streets, could be demolished to make way for sewer overflow tanks for the Gowanus Canal, but residents hope the April 10 vigil will show the federal government how important it is to the neighborhood.
"There is a community desire for this building to be retained, it does exhibit character that speaks to this neighborhood," said Brad Vogel, one of the organizers of the event. "This is just the final reminder to the EPA that the community does care about this building." Vogel said that the spot, which is on the state's Historic Register, is one of the only in the neighborhood that features Gowanus' name prominently and it gives the area "a sense of place."
However, it could come down as part of the Environmental Protection Agency's massive cleanup of the polluted canal. Plans call to demolish it to make way for two large tanks that will collect sewage runoff from the waterway during heavy rain.
Previous attempts to save the building, which was built in 1913, failed after the Landmarks Preservation Committee ruled it didn't merit saving because they felt the building was changed too much over the years. The EPA, which is overseeing the cleanup, could still save the building and asked for input from residents and officials earlier this month on if they should demolish it for the work, the Brooklyn Paper reported.
The vigil will be held on April 10, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at 234 Butler St.
Image courtesy of Brad Vogel