Demolished! UPS ignores preservationists’ plea, begins bulldozing Red Hook factory
Red Hook residents were outraged Friday when UPS started bulldozing the 1880s Lidgerwood Building, backing down on a promise to consider a proposal from preservationists to repurpose part of the structure.
Just hours before, a spokesperson for the package-delivery giant told the Brooklyn Eagle that it was taking into consideration the community’s desire for the facade of the venerable factory to be preserved. Red Hook community activists had been protesting the scheduled demolition of the 19th-century factory on the neighborhood’s historic industrial waterfront.
Delivery giant UPS bought the red-painted factory at 202 Coffey St. last year, and local residents said earlier this week that the company’s plan to knock it down would be a terrible blow to the neighborhood.
“We want to make them see there’s a way to combine serving e-commerce and the future and repurposing the past,” said Carolina Salguero, who is involved in efforts to save the eye-catching building.
“The quest to save the Lidgerwood Building really is bigger than Brooklyn,” said Salguero, the founder and president of PortSide NewYork, a waterfront-centric cultural center in Red Hook. “Red Hook was significant for 100 years for its maritime and industrial production and innovation. The Lidgerwood Building is a symbol of that.”
A petition signed by more than 1,670 people asks UPS to leave the Valentino Park-facing exterior of the Lidgerwood Building intact — and instead develop the north side of the property.
A lifelong Red Hook resident stopped her car to stare, aghast, at the busy bulldozers on the Ferris Street side of the historic Lidgerwood Building.
“This is what they do behind our backs,” Annette Amendola told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Her aunt worked in the famous building when a company called Mutual Paper was there.
A leader of the community’s campaign to save the building also expressed outrage.
“We feel disrespected,” Allison Reeves of Resilient Red Hook told the Brooklyn Eagle.
“They are destroying part of our heritage, our community, our park, without discussion,” she said. “I am frustrated UPS did not engage in any way with our community after all the ways we tried to reach out.”
UPS was silent on Friday on the demolition.
The company’s spokesperson did not respond to the Brooklyn Eagle’s requests for comment.
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