Judging by the social media impact of the news the other day, everyone is heartbroken or angry about the imminent demolition of the Kentile Floors sign. You might be feeling powerless to stop it, but you’ve got a powerful-ish ally in the fight to save the sign in Councilman Brad Lander, who’s got a petition to save the sign up on his site, and some harsh words for Gowanus developers.
The petition from Lander, unlike the myriad ridiculous petitions in the recent history of Brooklyn, actually has a chance of having some impact, given that Lander is on the City Council and isn’t just some yutz on the internet. If the sign does have to come down, Lander is asking building owner Ely Cohen to at the very least preserve the sign in one piece so that it can be displayed somewhere else.
More interestingly, in a statement separate from the petition, Lander tied the removal of the sign into the larger fight over redevelopment of Gowanus, condemning the demolition and cheap land grabs in the hopes of quickie residential rezoning. You can read the whole thing here, but our favorite highlight is below:
The Gowanus neighborhood is currently engaged in a community planning process convened by local elected officials. Through this process (Bridging Gowanus) some clear points of consensus have emerged: The Gowanus area must remain mixed-use, with room for manufacturing and artists. If some housing is to be allowed, it must include a significant affordable component. Infrastructure (to address flooding and school overcrowding) and open space are required. The character of the area must be maintained. And local landmarks should not be sacrificed for development. Owners and developers who want to be part of the future of Gowanus would do well to heed the consensus of our community.