By MatthewC

Forgotten Greenpoint: Wooden Sidewalk on West Street May Become Extinct

West Street's wooden block sidewalk is a common stop on walking tours of Greenpoint; Courtesy of Preservation Greenpoint

Is one of Greenpoint’s most unexpected features­­­—a stretch of historic wooden block paving on West Street near the Greenpoint Terminal Market—in imminent danger? Many say that this is the last place where original wooden paving exists in New York City. These blocks are so rare that one from this section of sidewalk is included in the collection at The City Reliquary. But a new bike path down West Street could mean this final vestige of obscure New York City history will be put on the chopping block. Continue reading

Category: Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Forgotten Greenpoint: The Astral

The Astral © Greenpointers

The Astral is undoubtedly one of Greenpoint’s most iconic edifices. So much so, it even inspired it’s own novel. It sure is a purdy old pile o’ bricks, straight out of Victorian London, and with a great history to boot. While you may not know the fascinating story of the Astral, you’ve likely been inside the building while brunching at Brooklyn Label, or maybe you have noticed its picturesque brickwork while exiting Dandelion Wine shop, bottle (or two) in hand. So what makes this historic building distinctive enough to be designated both a city and a national landmark? Well, as mama always told you, it’s what’s on the inside that really counts. Continue reading

Category: Culture | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Forgotten Greenpoint: WNYC Transmitter on the East River

WNYC Archive Collections

Who listens to radio these days? I enjoy some WNYC action from time to time (when they are not doing a pledge-drive, of course), and my neighbor across the airshaft seems to enjoy sports radio at elevated volume levels around 7 a.m., so there are at least two of us. But after some research I discovered that, much to my surprise, my neighbor and I are not the only radio listening New Yorkers. There are millions of us!

I also learned that WNYC, my favorite radio station (see above), transmitted from Greenpoint, Brooklyn, for over 50 years, sited in what is now the aptly named WNYC Transmitter Park. The park—located where Greenpoint Avenue hits the East River—was opened in 2012 after a two-year, $12 million redevelopment project. The final product is lovely, with natural wetland landscaping, a pedestrian bridge and pier, killer views of Manhattan, and a nautically-themed children’s play area that reflects the site’s waterfront context. Continue reading

Category: Culture, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Forgotten Greenpoint: Keramos Hall On Manhattan Ave

This article made possible by a donation to our Writer’s Fund Raffle by Human@Ease.

As Preservation Greenpoint reported last week, Keramos Hall at 857-861 Manhattan Avenue just won a Lucy G. Moses Award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

What is Keramos Hall you say? Our thoughts exactly. Which is why we decided to devote a lil’ bit of research to this. Like us, you might have been surprised recently when the scaffolding came down from Milton St and Manhattan Ave, revealing a whimsical half-timbered Swiss Chalet confection where before was a drab vinyl-covered building. Where did this slice of Switzerland come from? Read on to be illuminated on a piece of forgotten Greenpoint architecture. Continue reading

Category: Culture, Historical Greenpoint | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments

Greenpoint is a 2013 “Six to Celebrate” Neighborhood!

© Jennifer Galatioto

The Historic Districts Council (HDC), New York’s city-wide advocate for historic buildings and neighborhoods, has just selected Greenpoint as one of the six neighborhoods to celebrate in 2013!

Preservation Greenpoint–a newly-formed organization dedicated to protecting the historic architecture and character of our lovely neighborhood–submitted Greenpoint for participation in this program. Throughout 2013, HDC will work with Preservation Greenpoint to set and reach preservation goals through strategic planning, advocacy, outreach, programs, walking tours, and publicity.

As insightfully put by Simeon Bankoff, executive director of HDC: “Neighborhoods throughout New York are fighting an unseen struggle to determine their own futures. By bringing these locally-driven neighborhood preservation efforts into the spotlight, HDC hopes to focus New Yorkers’ attention on the very real threats that historic communities throughout the city are facing from indiscriminate and inappropriate development.”

Check out the press coverage from NY Daily News and Brownstoner, and make sure to like Preservation Greenpoint’s facebook page to follow along with their development over the coming year.

Category: Community, News | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment