Coney Island

Landmarks Preservation Commission tosses the Coney Island Pumping Station off its calendar

February 23, 2016 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This is the Coney Island Pumping Station, which was removed from the Landmarks Preservation Commission's calendar. Eagle photo by Lore Croghan

That’s a slap in the face for Coney Island preservationists.

Advocates who urged the city to grant landmark protection to the decommissioned Coney Island Pumping Station got bad news on Tuesday.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) decided to remove the former 1930s-vintage Fire Service Pumping Station from its calendar for landmarks designation consideration.

At a special public meeting held at the preservation agency’s Lower Manhattan headquarters, commissioners voted to issue a “no action letter” about the pumping station at 2301 Neptune Ave.

The vote signals that the locked-up building is “not a priority” for landmarking. It would be possible to put it back onto the LPC’s calendar in the future, though.

Commissioner Adi Shamir-Baron cast the only vote against removing the pumping station from the calendar.

“It is a building that’s worthy of designation,” she said during the meeting.

“It’s a matter of allocation of resources,” LPC Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan responded.

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The commission is in the throes of dealing with a list of 95 sites citywide that had been on the LPC’s calendar for up to 50 years with no decision from the preservation agency. The city-owned Coney Island property is one of seven Brooklyn sites included in Backlog95.

Tuesday’s vote was part of the LPC’s intensive process to clear up the backlog.

Srinivasan said before the vote that the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and the city Economic Development Corp. are studying the feasibility of adaptive reuse for the pumping station.

The land on which it’s located is currently used as a community garden.  

The City of New York constructed the lozenge-shaped Art Deco building in 1937. It was the only public work that noted architect Irwin Chanin designed.

Charming limestone statues of winged horses that stood on the pumping station property are currently on loan to the Brooklyn Museum.  

The Coney Island facility — which had been used to boost water pressure for firefighters — had been on the commission’s calendar since 1980.

At a hearing this past October, preservationists and Coney Island residents including the neighborhood’s unofficial mayor, Dick Zigun, testified in favor of landmarking the neglected property.

  

 

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