First, 5 Pointz was shut down to make way for a new complex of gleaming residential high-rises. Then, Domino Sugar factory was salvaged for “industrial artifacts” ahead of developers’ plans to raze the buildings and create a “mini-neighborhood of apartments, offices and parks.” Now, this past weekend, another Brooklyn icon went silently in the night—Greenpoint’s famous steel water tower, inscribed with the Polish flag on one side and “Save the Palestine” on the other, was painted over with a coat of grey.
It is undetermined who first painted “Save the Palestine” or the Polish flag on the water tower, but Internet blogs agree that both had been there for “at least a decade” before the paint job. The water tower stands adjacent to the seven-story structure at 60 West Street, which is still mostly vacant, except for a poultry transport company and a granite distributor located on the ground floor. The building was approved as a DOB rehabilitation project earlier this year.
The water tower once served the historic Greenpoint Terminal Market at 42, 60, & 67 West Street, a 19th-century collection of warehouses that was abandoned by the end of the 20th century and saw a massive fire in 2006. The five-story brick warehouse at 67 West Street survived the fire, and has since been transformed into event spaces for weddings, galleries, and artist studios. 42 West Street, a 65,000-square-foot factory building, is slowly being converted to commercial space.