COURIER L 12 IFE, MARCH 13-19, 2020
Fake it ’til you make it
City eyeing faux-aged bricks for
historic Gowanus Station buidling
BY KEVIN DUGGAN
As part of a plan to save time
and money during construction
of a water-fi ltration facility on the
historic Gowanus Station site, city
offi cials recommended using fauxaged
bricks to recreate the 106-yearold
building’s facade — rather than
painstakingly restoring the wall’s
original blocks piece-by-piece.
Both federal and state authorities
wanted to save part of the building’s
exterior walls, and use the
original bricks in a new headhouse
on the site, but a city-commissioned
report claimed that new bricks with
an “aged appearance” would do the
trick — and save more than a million
dollars and several months during
A local group of preservationists,
however, blasted that plan as “lazy,”
and accused the city of cutting corners
to save costs in a March 4 letter
to the federal EPA, which is overseeing
the new facility’s construction.
“It’s the laziest engineering and
the laziest excuse that I’ve ever
heard,” said Katia Kelly. “They must
think the community’s stupid.”
But maintaining the architecture’s
original bricks during construction
would cost taxpayers $1.4
million and result in months long
delays, according to the study.
And even if they did attempt to
salvage the building’s original facade,
only about half of the bricks
are in good enough shape to survive
the consturction, which would last
almost eight years, the study claims.
The rest are either too water damaged,
or are so discolored that they
would fail to match the other parts
of the rebuilt walls.
So, rather than try to maintain
the original bricks, the city wants to
use only the mock-aged variety.
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