Admiral’s Row Update
UPDATE: Jan. 30 2012
The New York Landmarks Conservancy is happy that the Admiral’s Row property has finally been sold to the City and is now in the hands of the Navy Yard who we hope will act quickly to stabilize the two historic structures that are to remain on the site.
Although we would have preferred to see more of the houses saved, we believe that the plan espoused by the Navy Yard incorporating two of the historic buildings is a good one. We trust that the Navy Yard will honor its commitment to historic preservation and look forward to seeing how work on the site proceeds.
Previous update –
The Conservancy has reached out to elected officials and the Advisory Counsel on Historic Preservation in dismay over the latest news from the Army National Guard (ANG) about Admiral’s Row. We have been informed that contrary to the stipulations in the Memorandum of Agreement forged after two-years of meetings and reviews, neither the historic timber shed nor the site’s oldest house, Quarters B, will be stabilized by the ANG. The ANG will not allow their workmen near the buildings and will not allow crews from the Brooklyn Navy Yard near them either.
This in spite of the fact that prominent engineer Robert Silman has visited the site and found that the stabilization of the timber shed is feasible. There was never a question with regard to the feasibility of stabilizing Quarters B and we have received no photos or other corroborating information from the ANG to support their latest determination.
The Memorandum of Agreement set aside two million dollars for the stabilization of both buildings by the ANG. The stabilization work was meant to protect the two structures from further deterioration until such time as the property is conveyed to the Navy Yard and full restoration work commences. At this point the buildings continue to stand in their neglected and deteriorated state and it is not known what will become of the two million specifically set aside for the work.
We have received assurances from the Advisory Council of Historic Preservation (an independent Federal Agency that oversees Section 106 Reviews and advises the President and Congress on historic preservation policy) that they will look into the Admiral’s Row process to determine what went wrong and to determine if the two million dollars set aside for preservation is still available to be used for that purpose.
The Brooklyn Navy Yard, the site’s potential buyer, has issued a press release demanding immediate access to the site in order to commence stabilization, and a credit of two million dollars on the final sales price of the parcel. The Conservancy supports the Navy Yard and is urging officials in Congress and the Advisor Council to put pressure on the ANG to allow access to the site and above all, to help expedite the transfer of the to the Brooklyn Navy Yard so that once and for all the community can begin to see the promise of restoration and redevelopment on that prominent site.