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‘General’ consensus on need for better Fowler Square

At least four statues in Brooklyn — possibly the one of Gen. Fowler in Fort Greene — will wear red capes this week to promote a new NBC TV series.
The Brooklyn Paper / Robin Lester

The statue of Gen. Fowler may soon get some swank renovations to his Fort Greene home, thanks to a business group’s plan to completely refurbish the tiny, relatively unused vest-pocket park.

On Wednesday, the Fulton Area Businesses Alliance earned the support of Community Board 2 for its plan for a vibrant, green community plaza on the eastern side of the bowtie intersection of Lafayette Avenue and Fulton Street — one that would “dramatically change the area” by completely cutting off the portion of South Elliot Place that currently forms the eastern leg of the triangular intersection.

“It’s going to be much more pedestrian friendly, and will dramatically change what is pretty much the opening to and heart of Fort Greene,” said CB2 member Lincoln Restler, who is working on the proposal. “Plus, we’re looking at programming, like partnerships with [the Brooklyn Academy of Music] and local businesses.”

The idea is to extend Fowler Square north, cutting into one lane of Lafayette Avenue that’s currently a no-parking zone, and cutting off a small portion of South Elliot Place completely, along with two parking spaces.

Restler said that the South Elliot Place strip is virtually unused by car traffic, and that long-awaited benches and greenspace in the area will benefit everyone. The community board and nearby businesses seem to agree.

“It’d bring in more walking traffic and even more business,” said Cassidy Vare, owner of Bespoke Bicycles near the square. “I would love to see it expanded.”

This isn’t the first time changes have been proposed to Fowler Square — lights, foliage, and even the removal of the statue of Civil War legend, Brigadier Gen. Edward Fowler, have been discussed — but the latest idea for the square is certainly the most ambitious.

— with Alex Rush

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