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Art breaker! Downtown Macy’s ‘Love Letter’ mural slated for demolition

Brooklyn Paper
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It is a break-up everyone saw coming.

Macy’s closed its Downtown parking garage for good on Tuesday, which means the hulking structure — and the “Love Letter to Brooklyn” poem artist Steve Powers painted across it four years ago — are not long for this world. One nearby worker says she’s not surprised — a developer bought the property last year — but will be still be sad to see the wordy mural go.

“I think it’s wonderful, but I knew it would come down,” said Sarah Giller. “With everything going on with development, it’s inevitable that the building was coming down.”

Powers announced the closure on his Instagram account on Jan. 12, saying goodbye and thanking the borough for its support.

“Feelings through the ceiling, thank you Brooklyn,” wrote Powers, who created the piece with a team of artists in 2011, after local pols and neighboring businesses ordered the retail giant to spruce up the eyesore.

Hundreds of Brooklynites responded in kind, offering fond memories of the giant poem, which includes sentiments such as “Born busy as a Brooklyn bound B,” and “Every street carries us home.”

“So heartbroken to see this go!” wrote Christie Colaprico. “Have re-read it every night on my walk home from work since moving to the neighborhood three years ago. Thank you for your beautiful artwork and words.”

Developer Tishman Speyer inked a deal to buy the garage — along with part of the cash-strapped department store — in August.

The real-estate firm filed permits to remove the two skyways connecting the structure to the department store last week, and to turn the current five-story garage into a single-story retail building late last year, according to city records — though the owner is allowed to erect a far larger residential high-rise on the site under current zoning.

This will be the second Downtown Powers piece to disappear in as many years — a developer razed his subway-map-inspired work at Adams and Livingston streets last year.

Powers’ vibrant, polka-dotted sign “All I need is you and new shoes” at the corner of Fulton and Bond streets remains, but may also be endangered — developer RedSky Capital appears to be buying up all the properties on that block, though still hasn’t snapped up that specific one yet.

Powers and Tishman Speyer declined to comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 3:03 am, January 15, 2016
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Reasonable discourse

Charles from Bklyn says:
The replacement of old Brooklyn with the new corporate dominated city is a shame. I want to personally thank everyone that made this possible, and you don't even know who you are.
Jan. 16, 2016, 8:10 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I won't be surprised if anti-car fanatics such as Streetsblog and Transportation Alternatives will be celebrating the demolition of this garage, because they most likely view this as a symbol of the car culture.
Jan. 16, 2016, 4 pm
Ebbets from Bklyn says:
I never thought I would become an old fart railing against gentrification, but here I am at a half century. The Brooklyn I grew up with and love is being demolished with dizzying and still accelerating speed. I can barely recognize that neighborhood as it is. There's never a real estate crash when you desperately need one.
Jan. 31, 2016, 7:14 pm

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