Pols: Army is bombing on Admirals Row

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The Army National Guard has backed out of a hard-fought deal to preserve two crumbling historic buildings in the Brooklyn Navy Yard — and local pols are furious at the betrayal.

In 2009, the Army agreed to preserve two structures, the Timber Shed and Building B, in the crumbling, 19th-century Admirals Row on the Flushing Avenue side of the Navy Yard.

But now the Army is saying that the 158-year-old Timber Shed is too rundown to repair, an assessment based on two engineering studies from March and May 2010.

“Both revealed that the Timber Shed was not worth saving,” said National Guard spokesman Jon Anderson.

The Army National Guard controls the 19th-century houses, but decades of federal neglect left the houses in shambles — and most likely will be completely unsalvageable when the property is transferred to the city later this year.

The Army has to jump through various legal hoops outlined by the National Historic Preservation Act before it can repair the structures, a process that started in 2007 and has yet to yield any actual preservation.

Fed up with the foot-dragging, local politicians are demanding that the Army allow the city or the Navy Yard to do the repairs.

“Admirals Row is a national landmark,” Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement. “It appeared that we had an agreement to preserve these historic buildings, but bureaucratic hurdles are now getting in the way.”

Navy Yard CEO Andrew Kimball thinks the Timber Shed can be saved — if he can get his hands on the structure and the $2 million earmarked for repairs.

“We are very concerned that even waiting another few months will allow those buildings to deteriorate, especially the Timber Shed,” he said.

But the Army is refusing access, based on significant heath and safety issues on-site. “All we’re saying is that when we transfer the property, the Timber Shed will be as is” at the time of the transfer,” said Anderson.

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Reader Feedback

cheaper to DEMOLISH from WALMART come here. WALMART says:
get rid of those buildings and build a WAL MART
March 4, 2011, 11:56 am
Anywho says:
Two million dollars for what, two run down buildings. You want history? Read a history book. Now people care? Oh please. These are not the pyramids of Giza.
March 4, 2011, 12:44 pm
bummer from GP says:
Two million dollars is what a Brooklyn Heights 2 bedroom condo costs.

I see the Navy Yard from the BQE every day, and wonder why ever let it slide so far. With property values at a premium all over the city it's amazing to see it waste away.

Those buildings are a beautiful piece of American history, a tribute to our service people, but let's replace it with some crap made in China.
March 4, 2011, 5:54 pm
Jeanette Grayeb-Mihal from Bay Ridge says:
It is vital that we restore these buildings. They are part of our history, and worth saving. Preservationists take heed. Why aren't you stepping up to the plate? We lost the Green Church in Bay Ridge, and anotherchurch is slated for demolition on Ovington Avenue. This must stop. The charm and character of our neighborhoods is disappearing. How sad.
March 7, 2011, 3:29 pm
real from Clinton Hill says:
Are we really surprised the Army pulled a fast one? Honestly?
March 7, 2011, 6:04 pm
ottahere says:
Tear it down!
2 million dollars what a waste.
March 14, 2011, 4:44 pm

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