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Red-letter day! See Kentile Floor’s ‘K’ this Friday • Brooklyn Paper

Red-letter day! See Kentile Floor’s ‘K’ this Friday

No better letter: Paul Basile, right, and a Gowanus Alliance member posed in front of the Kentile Floors sign “K” at the group’s holiday party in 2014.
Photo by Jason Speakman

It’s a special K!

On Dec. 11, Brooklynites will be able to pose and party with the single most iconic letter in all of Brooklyn the 66-year-old, 20-foot-high “K” from the Kentile Floors sign that once beckoned to F and G train riders with the promise of affordable bath and kitchen tiling. The stewards of the legendary “K” hope that the sheer spectacle of the massive letter will inspire Gowanus residents to join their struggle to restore and re-install the aging emblem.

“We invite our community and friends to get up close with the ‘K’ from the Kentile sign, with hopes that as we move forward with restoration and relocation that people will be more willing to get involved in some way,” said Paul Basile, president and founder of the Gowanus Alliance, a confederation of neighborhood businesses.

The Alliance took stewardship of the severely dilapidated sign in the summer of 2014, after it was deemed too hazardous to remain towering eight stories above the streets of Brooklyn. The alliance worked with contractors to safely dismantle and store the sign in a 13th Street warehouse until a new home for the legendary logo could be secured, according to Basile. Had the alliance not stepped in, Brooklyn’s “Kentile Floors” sign could have been consigned to the garbage heap.

“There was an identical sign in Chicago, and that ended up in the scrap yard,” said Basile.

For its “Christmas with the K” party, the Gowanus Alliance re-assembled the seven parts of the titular letter, and will encourage people to take pictures beside the enormous letterform. In addition to the hallmark “K,” the event promises lots of free barbecue and an opportunity to carouse with neighbors and local business owners.

“There will be some food, local businesses get to say hello to each other again, and hopefully new people will come in,” said Basile.

The Gowanus Alliance is currently toying with the idea of installing the Kentile Floors sign at the Fran Brady Under the Tracks Playground.

“Christmas with the K” at the Gowanus Alliance [135 13th St. between Second and Third avenues in Gowanus, (718) 576–3108, www.gowanusalliance.org]. Dec. 11 at 5 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Standing tall: The Kentile Floors sign before it was taken down in the summer of 2014. The sign’s 20-foot-high first letter will be on display at the Gowanus Alliance “Christmas with the K” party on Dec. 11.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

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