Monuments Commission approves outdoor cafe design for Fulton Ferry Landing

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Here is the Marine Fire Boat Station and Pipe Shed, which is located next to the Brooklyn Bridge. Photo: Lore Croghan / Brooklyn Eagle

A waterfront cafe bar planned on the dock next to the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, suspended since last April, can now move forward.

On Tuesday, the city’s Monuments Preservation Commission approved a revised design for an outdoor restaurant pavilion to be built on Fulton Ferry Landing Pier, adjacent to the Marine Fire Station at 1 Water Street. The vote was unanimous.

The Commission had rejected a project initially proposed in April by the architect for Miles and Alex pincus, cafe and bar operators. The pavilion will replace the Buzz Bar, which operated under a tent.

Brooklyn Bridge Park awarded the Pincus brothers the exterior concession for the ferry dock in December 2018.

They have a 10-year license with a three-year renewal option for the space, for which they pay a guaranteed minimum annualized fee of $ 93,000 or a combined 8 percent of food sales and 10 percent of sales. alcohol, whichever is greater, Brooklyn Bridge Park has been announced when the concession is awarded.

This is the revised pavilion design for the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier restaurant. Starling Architecture via the Commission for the Preservation of Monuments

The Starling architecture design that LPC approved on Tuesday is a simple structure made up of rope-wrapped aluminum poles and a rectangular perimeter of bench seats, with a retractable fabric canopy to act as a roof. There are no windows in the predominantly open-air design.

Starling Architecture conceived the minimalist design in response to criticism from the LPC that the pavilion, as originally designed, obstructed the view of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

The original version of the pavilion had drop-down windows and an opaque roof and was attached to a small building called a pipe shed, which was built in 1929. In the revised design, the outdoor cafe and bar are separated from the pipe shed. .

The Pincus brothers restaurant will be closed from early November to early April, an LPC staff member said at a public meeting ahead of the LPC vote. During these months, the pavilion of the redesigned restaurant will be partly dismantled.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation president Eric Landau told the town hall that conservators prefer Option A for dismantling the pavilion – which involves removing the canopy from the fabric roof and shrink wrapping from the pavilion bar. The benches will be left uncovered so that the public can sit on them.

Option B consists of removing the canopy from the roof and the structure that holds it and wrapping the benches in shrink wrap. In its vote, the PLC approved both options.

Here is the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier with the Brooklyn Bridge visible on the Lower Manhattan shoreline.  Photo: Lore Croghan / Brooklyn Eagle
Here is the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier with the Brooklyn Bridge visible on the Lower Manhattan shoreline. Photo: Lore Croghan / Brooklyn Eagle

Two local organizations wrote letters to the LPC opposing the revised pavilion design. They provided the Brooklyn eagle with copies of their missives.

“The Fulton Ferry Landing Pier is not a suitable site for a new structure or addition because it prevents access at a critical time and takes the scenic view plane away from the Brooklyn Bridge,” the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council wrote.

“Last but not least, as the main gateway to Brooklyn Bridge Park, and the only place on its entire perimeter where you can actually see and experience the East River from near and far. , there is absolutely no need for a concession in this location. This bustling area of ​​the park requires open, unimpeded space with no need for programming, ”said the letter, which design committee and concession co-chairs Doreen Gallo and Katrin Adam signed.

The council, which represents 19 community organizations, provides a forum for Brooklyn residents to give the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation their opinion on its major initiatives and policies, the park’s website says.

Here is the revised design of the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier restaurant pavilion facing the direction of the Manhattan skyline.  Starling Architecture via the Commission for the Preservation of Monuments
Here is the revised design of the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier restaurant pavilion facing the Manhattan skyline. Image courtesy of Starling Architecture via the Monuments Preservation Commission

The Fulton Ferry Disembarkation Association also wrote a letter to the LPC opposing the construction of the restaurant pavilion.

“The community of Fulton Ferry has never accepted or approved the idea of ​​an additional concession on this pier,” said the letter, which was signed by Adam, who is a long-time member of the board. of the Fulton Ferry Landing Association.

The association won the Lucy G. Moses Preservation Award for its management of the jetty design and reconstruction and the restoration of the marine fire station and pipe shed in the 1990s.

This design conceptualized “a wide open jetty space” that is “free of any fixed permanent obstruction, leading to the river, with panoramic views of the skyline with its landmarks, the harbor with its water sports and the great masonry and the span of the Brooklyn Bridge, ”the letter reads.

“Again, we are asking for a space that is fully accessible to the public to enjoy what the ambiance of this very special existing public pier can offer – free access to linger, dance, make music, celebrate, play and of course take photos of all kinds, ”the letter added.

Representatives from both groups did not testify at Tuesday’s meeting because the LPC’s rules of procedure only allow public testimony at the hearing in which a design is initially presented. In the case of the pavilion of the Pincus brothers restaurant, this happened in April 2019.

Here is the pavilion of the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier restaurant facing the Brooklyn Bridge.  Starling Architecture via the Commission for the Preservation of Monuments
Here is the pavilion of the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier restaurant facing the Brooklyn Bridge. Starling Architecture via the Commission for the Preservation of Monuments

As Brooklyn Bridge Park announced in December 2018, the Pincus Brothers will moor a restored FDNY pump boat, Governor Alfred E. Smith, on the north side of Fulton Ferry Landing Pier. The historic boat will have additional seating for the cafe and bar.

The pump boat was not mentioned at Tuesday’s LPC meeting.

The Pincus brothers are known for turning historic ships into floating restaurants and bars. One of them, Grand Banks, is housed in a fishing schooner called the Sherman Zwicker, which was hand-built in 1942 and is New York City’s largest wooden vessel. It docks at Pier 25 in Manhattan’s Hudson River Park.

Another, who is called Pilot, is installed on a century-old schooner which docks at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The pier where the Pincus brothers plan to build their restaurant pavilion is located in the Fulton Ferry Historic District, which was appointed in 1977.

The Colonial Revival style marine fire station adjacent to the restaurant pavilion site was built in 1926.

The FDNY fire boats operated from this station until 1970. They used the tower in the white shingled building to hang their fire hoses to dry, a Brownstoner’s story by Suzanne Spellen, expert in architectural history.

This is another look at the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier restaurant pavilion, which the Monuments Preservation Commission has approved.  Starling Architecture via the Commission for the Preservation of Monuments
This is another look at the Fulton Ferry Landing Pier restaurant pavilion, which the Monuments Preservation Commission has approved. Starling Architecture via the Commission for the Preservation of Monuments

The location of the restaurant’s outdoor pavilion is steeped in history. The first ferry service between Brooklyn and Manhattan began there in 1642.

Robert Fulton started his Brooklyn-Manhattan steamboat service from this site in 1814, on History of the Bowery Boys in New York website says. The trip only lasted 12 minutes.

To follow reporter Lore Croghan on Twitter.



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