GREENPOINT | WILLIAMSBURG
VOLUME 47 | NUMBER 14
APRIL 11, 2019
Brooklyn Eagle Group
MEET BROOKLYNITE LISA KERSAVAGE, THE LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISSION’S NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: She was especially proud of getting several backlogged Brooklyn treasures designated as landmarks. These include St. Barbara’s Roman Catholic Church in Bushwick, the former Williamsburgh Trust Company Building on South 5th Street in Williamsburg. ABOVE: The Williamsburgh Trust Company Building, now a city landmark. See page10-11INB. Greenpoint Gazette photo by Lore Croghan
A massive floodgate could be coming to the Brooklyn waterfront 'This study has been deeply flawed from the start,' clean water activist says. By Scott Enman Greenpoint Gazette
A massive storm surge barrier connecting Brooklyn to Staten Island near the VerrazzanoNarrows Bridge is being proposed to stop flooding during extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy. The dramatic addition to New York Harbor is one piece of a more comprehensive study from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on how to protect the New York City area from inundation.
The Corps presented five plans, each varying in price and durability, at a public information meeting on Tuesday in lower Manhattan. Each proposal uses a mixture of in-water measures, such as floodgates- and shorelinebased measures, to reduce flooding. The ideas range in cost from $16.5 billion for the most conservative option, employing only shorelinebased measures, to $118.1 billion for more dramatic choices featuring multiple floodgates. The Verrazzano-Narrows barrier option is the second-most expensive at $47.1 billion, but the study claims it would stave off $171.1 billion worth of flood damage if implemented. The Verrazzano floodgate itself would cost roughly $8.47 billion, and the plan would also include a Jamaica Bay storm surge barrier.
Newtown Creek’s Brooklyn waterfront faces first zoning changes in nearly 60 years
The DCP is proposing changes to the North Brooklyn area for the first time since 1961. Greenpoint Gazette photo by Paul Semple See story on page 3.
Continued on page 3
Image via Department of City
/ Williamsburg / Bushwick
Thursday, April 11, April 20196, 2016 Wednesday,
‘Mastermind’ behind botched kidnapping convicted of murder Erskin Felix was accused of planning and carrying out the bungled kidnapping of Menachem Stark, whose shocking murder rocked Williamsburg’s Hasidic community. Felix was also convicted of kidnapping and tampering with evidence,
By Noah Goldberg Greenpoint Gazette
The alleged “mastermind” behind the 2014 kidnapping and accidental killing of a Williamsburg landlord was convicted of murder Monday.
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after a three-week trial before Justice Danny Chun. Erskin and his cousin Kendel Felix abducted Stark outside his Williamsburg office on Jan. 2, 2014, according to prosecutors. They planned to hold Stark — who they had worked for in the past — for ransom. They stuffed him into a Dodge minivan, bound him with duct tape and put a ski mask over his head, prosecu-
tors said. While Kendel drove, Erskin stayed in the backseat with Stark. He sat on Stark to restrain him, according to trial testimony. When the kidnappers reached their destination, they realized Stark had suffocated when Erskin sat on him. Erskin told his brother Kendall Felix, along with Kendel, to take Stark’s body to Long Island, where they
threw it in a dumpster and set it on fire. Less than 24 hours later, a Nassau County police officer found the charred remains. Kendall Felix pleaded guilty to conspiracy and hindering prosecution in March, and was hit with a minimum of two years and four months to a maximum of seven years in prison. Stark’s family was outraged at the lenient sentence. Erskin Felix faces 25
Prostitution legalization advocates to meet with DA trafficking in 2018 and indicted another 20 cases of human trafficking last month, Gonzalez said. “Is what we’re doing now the best way we can get to traffickers, or is there a better way of doing it?” he asked Wednesday. Gonzalez acknowledged that many sex workers feel that his office is not being effective in its pursuit of traffickers when it arrests the workers themselves. He called his office’s current prosecution of sex workers “soft prosecution.” “We’re bringing people who get arrested for prostitution and trying to see if this is something they’re doing because they want to be doing this or because they’re being trafficked, or because they don’t feel they have other options.”
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State Senator Julia Salazar and State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried listen to an activist speak at a Feb. 25 sex work decriminalization rally. Greenpoint Gazette photo by Noah Goldberg
By Noah Goldberg Greenpoint Gazette
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Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez will meet with advocates of the decriminalization of sex work to discuss why they believe prostitution should be legal, he said Wednesday. “We’re in a particularized time in criminal justice where people are looking for different solutions to old problems,” Gonzalez told reporters at a press conference. The Brooklyn DA said he recently attended a forum hosted by people who support full decriminalization of sex work — but that his focus remains prosecuting sex-traffickers. “My obligation — I think — is to make sure I’m protecting children from being sex-trafficked and women who are
being forced into this trade,” Gonzalez said. The decriminalization of sex work has gained traction as a political movement in New York recently, with state senators and assemblymembers joining a coalition of activists in calling for the repeal of a law that criminalizes loitering for the purpose of prostitution. Arrests for the loitering charge increased in 2018 for the first time since at least 2012, and disproportionately affected trans women and women of color, according to Documented NY. Gonzalez said in March that his office would reconsider its approach to prosecuting the loitering charge, though he has not come out in support of full decriminalization. The Brooklyn DA’s office convicted 26 people of human
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years to life in prison. His sentencing is set for May 1. “With today’s verdict this defendant has been brought to justice for the murder of Menachem Stark, which devastated his wife and seven children. This was a coldblooded kidnapping that resulted in the death of a businessman and member of the Williamsburg community,” said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
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april Calendar of Events Week of the 11th to 17th
Art DIGITAL FAIRYTALES: VENGEANCE IS MINE When one encounters the term “Vengeance,” it is with excitement, suspicion and dread. For vengeance to exist, there must be a prior perception of victimhood, a grievance. The scale of which is determined by the protagonist, but the roles can quickly be flipped. And flipped and flipped again. The chain of vengeance can go on and on and, unless broken, lead to ever escalating levels of calamity. When: Mondays-Sundays through April 30th Where: DUMBO/Made in NY media Center (30 John Street)
A PLACE FOR EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING IN ITS PLACE/SHADOW LAKE Smack Mellon is pleased to announce two solo exhibitions, Katie Bell: A Place for Everything and
Everything in Its Place and Austin Ballard: Shadow Lake. Both artists create work inspired by the designed and built environment but adopt their own unique approaches. Katie Bell takes discarded and readymade objects to construct immense assemblages that match the industrial scale of Smack Mellon’s building. Austin Ballard, on the other hand, turns his focus onto household objects, specifically light fixtures and lampshades, to create a more intimate setting that resembles a suburban domestic interior. In both of these projects, however, the artists call attention to the way that architecture and design objects shape— whether dramatically or subtly—how we see and respond to the world. When: Wednesdays-Sundays through April 21st, 12 – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Smack Mellon (92 Plymouth Street)
GALLERY AND FRIENDS: EXHIBITION TO BENEFIT THE NEW SANCTUARY COALITION A passionate group of accomplished mid-career artists are mounting an exhibit in Brooklyn Heights to benefit New Sanctuary Coalition. The New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC is an interfaith network of congregations, organizations, and individuals, standing publicly in solidarity with families and communities resisting detention and deportation in order to preserve family unity. The grass roots organization has grown from a half-dozen congregations to a City-wide Movement in only a few years. 50% of sales will go to the New Sanctuary Coalition. When: Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays through April 28th Where: Brooklyn Heights/ McKinney Chapel Theater (119-121 Pierrepont Street)
TRANSCENDENTAL PATHWAY Featuring work by Rachel Cohen, Deanna Lee, Christina Massey, Elizabeth Riley, Christine Romanell, Linda Schmidt, Transcendental can be described simply as abstract. It has other definitions though from mathematical
use, such as incapable of being the root of an algebraic equation with rational coefficients, (π for example), or as relating to an experience determined by the mind’s makeup. Six artists in this exhibit take on different approaches to that definition through their individual styles of abstraction, be that from their intuitive creative approaches to inspiration from mathematical equations. When: Tuesdays-Saturdays through April 29th, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Gallery 55 (55 Water Street)
CATHERINE HAGGARTY -BENCHED An exhibition of site-specific work. When: Daily through April 29th, Where: DUMBO/Main Window (1 Main Street)
NYC TRASH!: PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE SCULPTURE GARDEN The City Reliquary’s sculpture exhibition — in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibit, NYC Trash!: Past, Present, & Future — presents the work of ten local trash artists whose works will be on display in the Reliquary’s backyard garden. When: Thursday-Sunday
through April 29th, 12 – 6 p.m. Where: Williamsburg/The City Requilary Museum (370 Metropolitan Avenue)
GOYA IN TIJUANA A collection paintings by modern contemporary surrealist painter Tony Geiger. Geiger’s work encompasses both classical surrealism with modern contemporary concerns. When: Saturdays through May 4th, 12 – 6 p.m. or by appt Where: Carroll Gardens/Court Tree Collective (371 Court Street)
LEA THOMAS -CURRENTS A drop of dark blue appears, its stain spreading over the surface. Tendrils stretch across, their circuits entwining and dispersing, carving lucid pathways in their wake. The deepest blue requires more than just one application, it is a multitude of layers blended into one another, with slightly different circumstances and results each time, as sapphire streams ebb and flow concurrently. The azure currents of time, energy, and memory upwell and merge in union. Lea Thomas applies this aesthetic philosophy in her practice, creating a pool of the deepest blue for her hand-woven textiles. With a lineage
harkening back to the traditional use of Japanese indigo in its process and symbolism, Thomas’s work echoes the motion of her predecessors, diving far under the waves of deep time. As the fibers submerge into a vat of natural dye, so does one’s consciousness surge in connection to our environment, our humanity, and the depths of our psyches. When: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday through May 8th Where: Sunset Park/Trestle Gallery (850 3rd Avenue)
A CERTAIN SET OF DYNAMICS Curated by Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer Featuring the work of Embodied Empathy, Christopher Mahonski, Valerie Shusterov, and Kristen Neville Taylor. Jurors: Will Hutnick and Gaby Collins-Fernandez Selected through UrbanGlass’ open curatorial call, a certain set of dynamics looks at artists using glass as a literal and metaphorical lens through which to explore human interconnection. When: Daily through May 10th, 11:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Where: Fort Greene/Agnes Varis Art Center (647 Fulton Street)
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Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 1INB
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Awards, United Photo Industries is exhibiting the work of two artists, Amelie Satzger and Lauren Menzies, in a dual exhibition at the UPI Gallery. When: Tuesdays-Saturdays through May 31st, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/United Photo Industries (16 Main Street, Suite B)
april Calendar of Events Week of the 11th to 17th continued from previous page
Jan Groover created her famous Kitchen Still Lifes in 1978 and 1979. Using a large-format camera, she transformed colanders, knives, spatulas and baking pans into objects of beauty that still hold a visual interest that transcends their common use. Her seductively modern color palette of greens, pewter, bronze and brown tonalities permeates the space dissected by kitchen paraphernalia. These take on a new visual meaning as a result of Groover’s juxtaposition of the elements. Although never unrecognizable as everyday objects, these utensils float into an abstract amalgam of planes and shapes. When: Tuesdays-Sundays through May 11th, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Janet Borden, Inc (91 Water Street)
EXPOSED AND PUNCHED A solo exhibition of new work by Odette England. This will be the artist’s second solo show at the gallery, and brings together a selection of artworks from three recently completed and ongoing projects. Home is the center-weight of England’s artistic practice, with memory and forgetting being the counterbalances. Her photographs are fragile, contemplative and temporal spaces. When: Wednesdays-Saturdays through May 11th, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Klompching Gallery (89 Water Street)
THE 2018 FEATURE SHOOT EMERGING PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS To celebrate the announcement of the 2018 Feature Shoot Emerging Photography
RACE AND REVOLUTION: REIMAGINING MONUMENTS
Image courtesy of BAM
The show questions the relationship between historical memory and historical monuments and what the underlying implications are for those histories that remain absent. Seventeen artists were asked to envision monuments that add depth and truth to New York’s compelling history. Exhibiting artists include Alexis Callender, Ayasha Guerin, Chip Thomas, Damien Davis, Emmaline Payette, Kamau Ware, Kimberly Becoat, Lyra Monteiro, Maureen Conner, Maureen McNeil, Marilyn Nance, Rose Desiano, Sal Munoz, Studio Darn, Zaq Landsberg and Jennifer Mack Watkins. When: Fridays through June 14th, 3 – 6 p.m. Where: Park Slope/Old Stone House (336 3rd Street)
BAM presents Get Up, Stand Up! 2019 on Saturday, April 13th, 2 p.m. THREAT OF PEACE (HIROSHIMA!!!!!!) Art in General presents a major solo exhibition in New York by Tokyo-based collective Chim Pom (Ryuta Ushiro, Ellie, Yasutaka Hayashi, Masataka Okada, Toshinori Mizuno, and Motomu Inaoka), whose work traverses geographies to engage trans-historical moments that shape our conflicted present. When: Tuesdays-Saturdays through July 13th, 12 – 6 p.m. Where: DUMBO/Art in General (145 Plymouth Street)
ONE: EGÚNGÚN One: Egúngún tells the life story of a twentieth-century Yorùbá masquerade dance costume (egúngún), from its origins in Ògbómọ,
Nigeria, to its current home in Brooklyn. Composed of over three hundred textiles from Africa, Europe, and Asia, this egúngún swirls into motion during festivals honoring departed ancestors. Centuries old, egúngún is still practiced in Nigeria, the Republic of Benin, and in the Yorùbá diaspora. When: Daily through August 2019, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Where: Crown Heights/ Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway)
BROOKLYN ABOLITIONISTS/IN PURSUIT OF FREEDOM This major, long-term exhibit explores the unsung heroes of Brooklyn’s anti-slavery movement–ordinary
residents, black and white–who shaped their neighborhoods, city and nation with a revolutionary vision of freedom and equality. The exhibit is part of the groundbreaking In Pursuit of Freedom public history project that features new research on Brooklyn›s abolition movement in partnership with Weeksville Heritage Center and Irondale Ensemble Project. When: Wednesdays-Sundays through Winter 2019, 12 – 5 p.m. Where: Brooklyn Heights/ Brooklyn Historical Society (128 Pierrepont Street)
Books & Readings
DIARY OF AN AWESOME FRIENDLY KID Greenlight bookstore is thrilled to announce that author Jeff Kinney, creator of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, is coming to their Book store. Join the bookstore to meet Jeff at this special book signing for his newest book, Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid, which was just published. When: Thursday, April 11th, 4:30 p.m. Where: Crown Heights/ Greenlight Bookstore (686 Fulton Street)
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Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 3INB
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4INB • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019
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Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 5INB
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When you think of Damascus Bakeries you think of the freshest, healthiest and tastiest bread that’s always baked fresh daily. But there are so many incredible dishes you can create with that bread including your own homemade pizza. For example, the Fig, Fontina and Arugula Pizza is a light and delightful meal in itself using Bred in Brooklyn original, traditional or ancient grain pizza crust. Just add olive oil, pancetta or prosciutto, fresh figs, Fontina cheese, Mozzarella cheese and fresh arugula, and you’ll have the makings of a truly unique pie. Go to the website for the full recipe! www.Damascusbakery.com
With Easter right around the corner, there’s no better place to celebrate the holiday than Chadwick’s Restaurant in Bay Ridge. And the Grilled Baby Lamb Chops is the perfect dish to enjoy with family and friends. The lamb chops include a delicious fig and goat cheese croquette and parsley pesto! Just add a few sides like Whipped Potatoes, Sautéed Spinach with Garlic and Olive Oil or Grilled Asparagus, and you have a world-class entrée you will remember long after the Easter Bunny has hopped away. www.chadwicksbrooklyn.com
Court Street’s Thai restaurant favorite Café Chili has one spicy good special on its menu. Its Puff Pocket is a dumpling you can relish. . . and it’s even served with cucumber relish. It just might be the most delish dumpling of curried chicken and potato wrapped in puff pastry that we’ve ever tasted! And now that spring has arrived, after your fabulous meal at Café Chili, you can take a walk to the Brooklyn piers or the Columbia Street waterfront! www.cafechiliny.com
THE BIZ By John Alexander
Three Guys from Brooklyn 6502 Fort Hamilton Parkway Brooklyn, NY (718) 748-8340
Spring is in the air and Three Guys from Brooklyn has some light and delicious recipes you will definitely enjoy. Three Guys only sells the freshest produce and that’s exactly what you need for its Roasted Tomato Avocado Toast recipe. You can pick up all the ingredients when you stop by, including plum tomatoes, avocado, lemon, cayenne pepper, cress and even the wholegrain or sourdough bread the recipe calls for. It makes for the perfect light and healthy springtime lunch! You can find the full recipe on the website! www.3guysfrombrooklyn.com
6INB • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019
ROASTED TOMATO AVOCADO TOAST INGREDIENTS
• plum tomatoes 4, halved • wholegrain or sourdough bread, 4 thin slices • avocado 1 small, peeled and stoned • lemon ½, juiced • cayenne pepper, a pinch • cress or baby rocket leaves, a handful to serve DIRECTIONS
Grill the tomatoes for 20 minutes until soft. Toast the bread. Using a fork, mash the avocado with lemon juice and cayenne, then spread it over the toasted bread. Top with the tomatoes and some cress or baby rocket leaves. Referenced from: OliveMagazine
Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 7INB
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8INB Section of Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/HomeEagle/Heights Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • Week of April 11-April 17,Gazette 2019 • Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 8INB ••INBROOKLYN INBROOKLYN——A ASpecial Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint
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Week of April 11 - April 17, 2019 • INBROOKLYN — A Special Section of Brooklyn Daily Eagle/Brooklyn Eagle/Heights Press/Home Reporter/Brooklyn Spectator/Brooklyn Record/Greenpoint Gazette • 9INB
Eye on REAL ESTATE
LEFT: Brooklyn resident Lisa Kersavage is the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s new executive director. RIGHT: This is Green-Wood Cemetery’s Fort Hamilton Parkway Gatehouse, which is landmarked. INBrooklyn photos by Lore Croghan
Carrying the preservationist torch in NYC Meet Brooklynite Lisa Kersavage, the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s new executive director By Lore Croghan INBrooklyn
Lisa Kersavage’s two-decade career journey has taken her from rural Pennsylvania to a top job at America’s largest municipal preservation agency. The long-time Brooklyn resident got a promotion in March to the position of executive director at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. “It is a dream job,” she said. “I really do believe in the importance of municipal government and specifically the ability of Landmarks to protect the city’s most important buildings and neighborhoods and to regulate them efficiently and then address issues related to sustainability and equity,” she said in a recent interview at her lower Manhattan office. The commission’s headquarters is — appropriately — in a century-old limestone landmark at 1 Centre St., designed by famed architectural firm McKim Mead & White. Kersavage worked at the Landmarks Preservation Commission for four years as director of special projects and strategic planning before her promotion. Her new job was open because Sarah Carroll, who held it, became the commission’s chairperson last fall.
Kersavage now oversees the agency’s operations and works closely with its chairperson to develop strategic plans for the agency. The majority of its approximately 80 staff members report to Kersavage.
‘PRESERVATION OPPORTUNITIES’ IN GOWANUS She has lived in Brooklyn for almost 20 years. She currently resides in a 1960s Kensington high-rise with a view of historic Green-Wood Cemetery. She can see all the way from Coney Island’s landmarked Parachute Jump to lower Manhattan. She previously lived in Downtown Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens and Gowanus. As Kersavage settles into her new job, looming Brooklyn-centric preservationist issues include the Gowanus Landmarking Coalition’s campaign to win protected status for historic neighborhood sites. “We are actively studying preservation opportunities in Gowanus,” Kersavage said. It’s too soon for her to weigh in on another big Brooklyn preservationist issue, namely the city Department of Transportation’s threat to demolish the landmarked Brooklyn Heights Promenade for BQE repairs.
“Until we have DOT plans that we can review, I can’t speak about this issue,” she said. Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced the creation of a panel to study different scenarios for repairing the highway running beneath the famous esplanade.
HISTORIC SITES RESCUED FROM LANDMARKING LIMBO During Kersavage’s years at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, she developed a plan for evaluating landmark eligibility for 95 historic sites that were on the commission’s calendar for up to a half-century. “It was challenging. It was consuming,” she said. “But it was exciting.” She collaborated with Chairperson Meenakshi Srinivasan and Executive Director Carroll on the mammoth project. The preservationists did lots of outreach to property owners — and in many cases were able to alleviate their concerns about having their buildings landmarked, Kersavage recalled.
— Continued on page 11INB —
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Eye on REAL ESTATE
The Williamsburgh Trust Company Building is now a city landmark.
Kersavage worked jointly with the Landmarks Preservation Commission on a plan to retrofit the 1830s Henry Street Settlement on the Lower East Side for greater energy efficiency. An important Brooklyn project she handled at the Municipal Art Society was sparked by development pressures on the brownstone area near the Atlantic Yards mega-development. She worked with the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council to muster community support for the creation of a landmarked district there.
INBrooklyn photos by Lore Croghan
Carrying the preservationist torch in NYC — Continued from page 10INB —
DEGREES FROM PENN STATE AND COLUMBIA
She was especially proud of getting several backlogged Brooklyn treasures designated as landmarks. These include St. Barbara’s Roman Catholic Church in Bushwick, the former Williamsburgh Trust Company Building on South 5th Street in Williamsburg, the Gravesend property known as Lady Moody’s House and Green-Wood Cemetery’s chapel and Fort Hamilton Parkway Gatehouse and Gatehouse Cottage.
Kersavage grew up in a small town in rural Pennsylvania called State College, where Penn State University is located. Her undergraduate work at Penn State stoked her interest in preservation. She earned a degree in art and architectural history. “So many of the great American buildings that we were studying have been demolished,” she said. Her career began with a job as a historic preservation intern for the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico. After that, she got a master’s degree in historic preservation with a planning concentration at Columbia, where “the professionalization of preservation really started,” she said. Kersavage has worked for several important preservationist organizations.
This is the now-landmarked chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery. The Prospect Heights Historic District won landmark designation in 2009. Kersavage’s love of New York City burns bright after two decades of working here. She admires its “phenomenal” architecture, cultural diversity and stature as a “global city,” she said. “I remain passionate about how great New York City is,” she said.
CONFRONTING CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT PRESSURES
This landmark is known as Lady Moody’s House. Backlogged Manhattan sites she’s proud of getting landmarked include the IRT Powerhouse on West 58th Street and the Loew’s 175th Street Theatre. It also was gratifying to get the Vanderbilt Mausoleum in Staten Island designated. Another major project Kersavage spearheaded at the preservation agency concerned the rezoning of East Midtown. She got a dozen sites in that area landmarked — including the iconic Citicorp Center.
She counts herself lucky to have worked for eight years at the Municipal Art Society. Kent Barwick, who had been the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s chairman, was the society’s president at the time. “It was very informative to me as a preservationist to be there and see how preservation fits into bigger issues facing the city,” she said. For instance, she worked on an initiative on preservation and climate-change issues that found the conflict between the two is more perceived than real. “Old buildings can become more energy-efficient. They can be greener. And preservationists should be taking that on,” she said. There are ways to do this that aren’t financially ruinous and don’t hurt the historic character of the properties, she added.
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Brooklyn Daily Eagle cover from April 10, 1942
ON APRIL 10, 1942, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “General MacArthur’s Headquarters, Australia, April 10 (UP) — General Douglas MacArthur said today that the little army he commanded on Bataan Peninsula ‘went out as it would have wished – fighting to the end.’ … MacArthur sent word to the mothers of Bataan’s fallen heroes, telling them their sons gave their lives in never-to-be-forgotten valor. ‘To the weeping mothers of Bataan’s dead I can only say that the halo of Jesus of Nazareth has descended upon their sons and that God will take them unto Himself,’ he said. ‘No army has ever done so much with so little,’ said MacArthur. ‘Nothing became it more than its last hour of trial and agony.’”
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Brooklyn Daily Eagle cover from April 11, 1951
ON APRIL 11, 1951, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported, “Washington, April 11 (UP) — Angry Republicans raised threats of impeachment today against President [Harry] Truman and possibly Secretary of State Dean Acheson within hours after the president fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur from his Far Eastern commands. MacArthur, shorn of four posts by Mr. Truman’s surprise early morning action, announced that he will come back home in about three weeks to tell his side of just about the bitterest controversy that ever shook this capital. In a telephone talk across an ocean and a continent, MacArthur told House Republican Leader Joseph W. Martin Jr. that he would like to address a joint session of Congress. Martin put in his call to Tokyo at a 30-minute secret meeting in his office at which House and Senate Republican leaders demanded congressional foreign policy investigation followed by ‘possible impeachments.’ The Republicans did not explain the plural word ‘impeachments,’ but Martin said it was correct … In firing MacArthur, Mr. Truman said the five-star general failed to support United States and United Nations plans for defeating Communism.” ALSO ON APRIL 11, 1951, the Eagle reported, “Bishop Thomas F. Molloy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has been made an Archbishop by Pope Pius XII in recognition of the ‘distinguished service’ he has rendered to the church in the administration of the diocese, the Brooklyn diocesan office was informed today … In the announcement it was stated that the elevation to Archbishop was a personal honor, and that Archbishop Molloy’s new title is to be distinguished from the title of Archbishop which Cardinal Spellman enjoys as head of the Archdiocese of New York. Archbishop Molloy is the fourth American prelate to be given the title while head of a diocese. He presides over the largest Catholic diocese in the United States … He was made Auxiliary Bishop of the diocese in 1920 and consecrated in 1921.”
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Wednesday, March / Williamsburg / Bushwick
Thursday, April 11, 2019 | 3
This massive floodgate could be coming to the Brooklyn waterfront continued from page 1
An alternative plan would scrap the VerrazzanoNarrows gate and instead include gates at both the Gowanus Canal and Newtown Creek. That option would cost $43 billion and avoid $160.8 billion in flood damage, according to the study. If zero flood mitigation efforts are implemented, the Corps predicts that over 50 years, the economic damages could be as high as $187 billion. But environmental advocates — and now the New York City Council — argue that the Corps’ plans do nothing to address sea level rise and focus exclusively on storm surges. John Lipscomb, patrol boat captain and vice president of clean water nonprofit Riverkeeper, called the report “deeply flawed from the start.” “The Corps study utterly fails to address flooding that will result from inevitable future sea-level rise — only the flooding that could result from another Sandy-like storm,” Lipscomb told the Greenpoint Gazette. “If storm surge barriers were built at the Verrazzano-Narrows … and elsewhere around New York Harbor, they would do nothing to protect against future sea-level rise flooding.” Lipscomb also said the flood barriers would have detrimental effects on New York Harbor’s marine life. “They threaten to partially choke off the natural tidal flow of this rich estuary and block migrations of fish and wildlife, including endangered Atlantic sturgeon,” he said. “From day one, these structures threaten to slowly strangle the life out of the Hudson River estuary. They are at best a short-term solution to half the problem.”
A massive storm surge barrier connecting Brooklyn to Staten Island near the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is being proposed to stop ﬂooding during extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy. Rendering courtesy of USACE
Newtown Creek’s Brooklyn waterfront faces first zoning changes in nearly 60 years By Paul Stremple
Special to the Greenpoint Gazette
The city’s plan for rezoning the North Brooklyn Industrial Zone is beginning to come into focus, with the goal of encouraging job growth by reworking restrictive zoning to allow for taller buildings, less parking and more density. The Department of City Planning’s updates to the proposed rezoning now feature details about the potential changes to the FAR (Floor Area Ratio), a measurement that reflects the ratio between the total floor area of the building and the square footage of the lot on which it is built. Changes to the FAR would determine the height of new buildings, as well as the types of establishments that will be allowed in the updated rezoning. While underlying industrial zoning will remain the same, DCP is proposing changes to the area for the first time since 1961, splitting the thousand-plus acre industrial area of Greenpoint, East Williamsburg and Bushwick into three zones: Core Industrial, Transition and Growth, to hold developers to a higher standard. In the Core Industrial areas, the city is looking to build on the 20,000 existing jobs in heavy industry by allowing for increased FAR for industrial use and cutting down on restrictive parking requirements. The FAR for all uses in the core industrial zones will be doubled to 2.0. This updated zoning will specifically exclude large-scale nightlife establishments in the core industrial areas, and will limit the size of dining, retail and office space. Existing uses will be grandfathered in, DCP representatives confirmed. Two uses of industrial space that have plagued New York communities over the years — hotels and self-storage facilities — have been subject to zoning amendments by the City Council. The M1 Hotel Text Amendment, passed late last year, will now require a special permit for hotels in industrial areas in an effort to check their development. In Transitional Areas, height incentives for community facilities, like hospitals and houses of worship, will be lowered to keep the focus on industrial growth, said DCP representatives. Industrial uses will be granted increased FAR, with the goal of stimulating job creation. Though DCP specifically mentioned nonprofit arts spaces as key elements of the new transition
areas, there is concern that nonprofit and community organizations won’t be able to compete with industrial or tech tenants that the zoning hopes to attract as landlords seek to maximize their profits. Finally, under the new zoning rules, Growth Areas near transit — along the L train and south of Grand Street, for example — would eschew parking requirements all together, as the city looks to create dense, mixed-use areas with loft-style buildings that will attract tech and media tenants. In these areas, the FAR ranges from 3.0 to 5.0. Light industry would be encouraged, but heavier industrial uses
would be limited as the zones transition into nearby residential blocks. These areas would begin to allow new commercial use in order to support nearby residents and create live-work neighborhoods. That means large retail, like supermarkets, and gyms will be allowed in transition areas. “What is the plan for enforcement of the different zonings?” asked Emily Gallagher, a Community Board 1 member. “We see a lot of great proposals, but usually no enforcement of it.” DCP has no enforcement mechanisms for its proposals, but representatives agreed it is a “major issue” and that they’ve heard concerns “loud and clear” from stakeholders. The city agency is working with the Department of Buildings to come up with an enforcement tool to support the changes to the IBZ. None of the changes to zoning in the IBZ will allow for new residential use. The potential rezoning of Bushwick, however, would allow for increased residential density along nearby transit corridors. Currently, the DCP has no timeline for when a draft zoning plan for Bushwick will be released. The DCP has previously said they’d like to have the zoning proposal finalized within the year, and while representatives mentioned future community engagement sessions, no concrete dates have been set. Paul Stremple is a freelance photographer and journalist based in Brooklyn. Follow his work on both Instagram Image via Department of City Planning and Twitter.
The City Council passed a resolution on Feb. 28 calling on the Corps to update its study to consider sea rise in addition to storm surge. Mark Treyger, whose district includes Coney Island, was a sponsor on the legislation. “One of the most important parts of this study is the feedback and engagement we get from the public,” the Corps said in a statement to the Gazette. “We are in the very early phases of this process, and nothing is set in stone. All of the features in this study are proposals.” The public is invited to submit comments at the meetings and/or by mail to: NYNJHAT Study Team, Planning Division U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 26 Federal Plaza Room 2145 New York, NY 10279-0090 or by e-mail to: NYNJHarbor.TribStudy@usace.army.mil Please include “NY & NJ Harbor & Tributaries Focus Area Feasibility Study (HATS)” and your contact information with submitted comments. Please provide comments within two weeks of the last public meeting April 17.
The Corps received more than 4,250 comments with seven main themes: Environmental impacts, scoping process, storm surge vs. sea level rise, cost and construction, overall study process, induced flooding and navigation impacts. The study stems from President Barack Obama signing into law the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 to assist in the recovery in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the New York City Department of Environmental Conversation, in partnership with the New York City Office of Recovery and Resiliency, are funding the report. As part of the legislation, nine high-risk areas on the North Atlantic Coast, including the New York-New Jersey Harbor and tributaries, are being studied. The New York area is by far the largest and most urbanized region in the study. A draft of the revised plan will be presented in March 2020, followed by another public review process. After a final integration feasibility report and a preliminary Environmental Impact statement is submitted in March of 2021, the Chief of Engineers report will be submitted to Congress in July 2022. Ultimately, the decision to install these flood mitigation efforts will be up to whoever is president in 2022. Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.
2 Wednesday, April 11,March 2019 30, Wednesday, March 16, 2016 2016 42 | Thursday,
/ Williamsburg / Bushwick
Measles outbreak: City declares public health emergency with 285 confirmed cases Mayor orders mandatory vaccinations in Williamsburg By Scott Enman Greenpoint Gazette
New York City declared a public health emergency Tuesday morning, ordering mandatory measles vaccinations for residents in parts of Williamsburg as the number of confirmed cases for
the infection rose to 285 since Sept. 30. Mayor Bill de Blasio said individuals and parents who ignore the order will be fined up to $1,000 and that “disease detectives” would question them. The outbreak is primarily affecting the Orthodox Jewish community.
“Our goal is not to fine people or shut down schools,” de Blasio said. “Our goal is to vaccinate people. We have the tools available now because of this emergency order to fine — and fine very substantially. But if people just go and get vaccinated, there is no need for a fine.” “If people ignore our order,” he added, “We will issue fines.” As part of the declaration, every unvaccinated person living in the ZIP codes 11205, 11206, 11211 and 11249 — regardless of whether they have been exposed to the infection — are required to receive the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to stymie the outbreak. To encourage immunization, the city has created the slogan, “Don’t wait. Vaccinate.” De Blasio said the outbreak “can be turned around quickly” if residents act quickly. “The overwhelming problem is Williamsburg,” De Blasio said. “This is a challenge we see in Brooklyn. In other boroughs we’ve seen no cases. It’s much more a Williamsburg problem than a Borough Park problem.” The vaccine is 97 percent effective, according to Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot, and if someone is exposed to the disease, he or she has a three-day window to still get vaccinated and limit the damage. Non-immune pregnant women are at particular risk, she said. Of the 285 confirmed cases, 246 are children and 39 are adults. Twenty-one people have been hospitalized since the outbreak started with five people being admitted to the intensive care unit. De Blasio said the number of confirmed cases in Williamsburg has ballooned since Purim and that there are concerns that the disease will continue to spread as families come together to celebrate Passover. “We urge everyone who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated,” Barbot said. “As Passover is coming up, it’s important that all New Yorkers get vaccinated especially if they plan to travel overseas to Europe or Israel.” The first Brooklyn child with measles acquired the infection on a visit to Israel, where a large out-
break is occurring, according to the New York City Health Department. “Measles are highly dangerous and contagious,” Councilmember Stephen Levin, whose district includes Williamsburg, told the Greenpoint Gazette. “I urge everyone to get vaccinated. I am committed to working with the health department, the mayor, and community leaders in addressing this urgent health crisis. “This is about protecting our communities and each other — we cannot wait until someone dies for us to act.” The number of confirmed cases has increased dramatically since 2017, when there were only two confirmed cases. In 2018, there were 56 instances and there have been more than 225 cases already this year. “The problem has mounted quickly,” de Blasio said. Barbot said 8,000 people have been vaccinated since Sept. 30. Barbot cited a group of “anti-vaxxers” who are seeking to undermine the public health emergency. “To challenge the dangerous misinformation that is being spread by a group of anti-vaxxers, it’s crucial that everyone around them be vaccinated to shield them from infection,” Barbot said. Barbot said 500 people would die each year in the ’60s before there was a vaccine. “We’re concerned about families having measles parties,” she said. “Back in the day people were having parties to expose their kids to chicken pox and measles. We live in a different world now.” The announcement comes a day after DOH threatened to close Williamsburg yeshivas that allow unvaccinated students to attend school in light of the epidemic. Since October, the city has barred all kids who don’t have the vaccine from attending school, including the private yeshivas. A 2013 measles outbreak in the Hasidic Jewish areas of Borough Park and Williamsburg cost the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene nearly $400,000, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.
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