Designs unveiled for theater at Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn

St. Ann’s Warehouse to fit inside landmark under bridge

April 20, 2013 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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Jonathan Marvel of Rogers Marvel Architects presented to a Community Board 2 subcommittee Thursday night a set of renderings for St. Ann’s Warehouse, a theater to be built inside the landmarked Tobacco Warehouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

According to the Curbed blog, the design calls for an 18,000-square-foot building with “a flexible performance space” and a “view corridor” looking out at the park and the water.

According to the Theatermania website, the plan includes a 1,000-square-foot space for local artists and community groups.

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Also included is a 7,600-square-foot open space designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and “imagined as a walled birch tree grove.”

The CB2 executive committee will consider the plans on April 22.

After years of objections from preservationists and a lawsuit by the Brooklyn Heights Association and other community groups, the Tobacco Warehouse – called “one of the most compelling public spaces in Brooklyn Bridge Park” by NYC Arts — was granted to the private St. Ann’s Warehouse theater company as part of a deal that would cede a plot of city-owned land under the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

As part of the arrangement, the Tobacco Warehouse and next door Empire Stores building were removed from the park.

St. Ann’s Warehouse’s longtime location at 38 Water St. is under development by Two Trees Management as condos. Before that, the group was housed at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights. The theater group is temporarily housed at 29 Jay St.

The roofless Tobacco Warehouse, with its iconic arched windows and entrances looking out at the Brooklyn Bridge, the East River, and the Manhattan skyline, was built in the 1870s as an inspection center for tobacco. It was saved from demolition twice, once in the 60s and once in the 90s, and is now a city landmark.

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