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Inside Dumbo's Iconic, Transforming Tobacco Warehouse


It's been at least 40 years since Dumbo's beloved Tobacco Warehouse had a roof, but in the midsts of conversion to the new home of avant-garde theater group St. Ann's Warehouse, the ever-important enclosure will probably enter the picture soon. The site's conversion from pre-Civil War structure to cultural institution, led by firm Marvel Architects, is a tricky one due to its protected status as part of the Fulton Ferry Historic District; but the feat is triumphed by Marvel, who are overseeing the construction of a modern building inside of, and just about one inch from, the Tobacco Warehouse shell. When complete, the structure will have an open-air, landscaped courtyard that will serve as an extension of Brooklyn Bridge Park, a 300- to 700-seat theater, a 1,000-square-foot community space, and a unisex bathroom with a very swanky lounge, towards which lead architect Jonathan Marvel expresses genuine excitement.

The building, which is under the jurisdiction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, fell to St. Ann's Warehouse with a 30-year lease and an optional 20-year extension following a 2010 Request For Proposal process that was intent on seeing the development of an arts-based community space in the shell. As a result, the new St. Ann's Warehouse space will not only serve the 34-year-old cultural institution but also have the community "flex space" and the landscaped, open-air portion which will keep the same hours as Brooklyn Bridge Park. St. Ann's Warehouse expects to move into the joint in 2015.
· St. Ann's Warehouse [official]
· All Tobacco Warehouse coverage [Curbed]

Tobacco Warehouse

Water St, Brooklyn, NY 11201