A small lot in Brooklyn’s Fulton Ferry Historic District is on its way to a change of use. On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved changes that will allow the former gas station at 14 Old Fulton Street to become a restaurant.
The site, once actually addressed as Cadman Plaza West, is located at the corner with Everit Street, right across from the new commercial building approved for 20 Old Fulton Street by the LPC in November of 2014.
The proposal was presented by architect Edward Weinstein of Hastings-on-Hudson-based Edward M. Weinstein Architecture and Planning, PC. The site was once a Texaco station, but the gas pumps are long-gone and the land has been unused for six months, he said. It will be the design of that erstwhile Texaco station that will drive the design of the new restaurant, mostly through the use of green color. “We’re going to keep the look of the old gas station,” he said.
A storage and mechanical shed will be added to the structure’s Everit Street side. An awning will be anchored over the current garage doors on the Old Fulton Street side, two of which will be maintained in their current configuration and one of which will be reconfigured to allow space for a new door for human use. The awning will be installed to allow for al fresco dining, though it will not be enclosed. That means that outdoor seating will be weather-dependent.
As for the operator of the restaurant, that has yet to be determined.
“I support this totally,” remarked Commissioner Frederick Bland, of Brooklyn Heights. “The hood has changed.”
LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan called the proposal “an approach that is something I can support.” She loves adaptive reuse.
Commissioner Adi-Shamir Baron noted that the project will require environmental remediation, given the site’s former use as a gas station. Of course, that isn’t something handled by the LPC.
Brooklyn Community Board 2 supports the project, as does the Historic Districts Council. “HDC found it refreshing that this defunct building will be adaptively reused without demolishing and/or substantially enlarging it,” testified HDC’s Kelly Carroll. “This popular, but small, district is the pedestrian pathway to the Brooklyn waterfront, and unlike neighboring DUMBO, this strip has retained its scale and avoided the infiltration of glass boxes. Projects like these help keep its character.”
The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the project.
View the full presentation slides below: