In 2012, the folks running Green-Wood Cemetery announced their intentions to return a landmarked Victorian-era greenhouse adjacent to the 478-acre site to its former glory. Somewhere along the line, that plan to rebuild the Weir Greenhouse, perched at the corner of Brooklyn's Fifth Avenue and 25th Street, came to include retrofitting it into a new visitors center for the historic cemetery where greats like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Leonard Bernstein are eternally entombed. Architecture firm Page Ayres Cowley will present their plan for the restoration of the structure, built in the late 1800s and landmarked about a century later, to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday. As per Brownstoner, the firm's plan includes fully refurbishing the greenhouse and demolishing two surrounding 19th-century townhouses in order to construct an L-shaped office building for cemetery employees that will hug glass-domed building.
The greenhouse remained a functioning flower shop from the time it opened until 2011. The Weir family turned the operation over in 1971 to Kevin McGovern, who only threw in the towel in 2011. Gothamist says that, at the time McGovern was selling to Green-Wood, the property was valued at $3 million.
It's ironic that in 19th century New York City, the Weir Greenhouse was where mourners went to buy flowers for the departed, and in 21st century New York City, it's where tourists from the city and elsewhere will find maps for roaming the graves (that is, pending the LPC's okay); after sitting empty for some time, hopefully its new life will be welcome.
· Green-Wood Cemetery Reveals Plans for Weir Greenhouse Makeover and Visitors Center [Brownstoner]
· See Renderings Of Green-Wood Cemetery's Visitor Center, Inside An 1800s Greenhouse [Gothamist]
· The Bright Past, Bright Future of Brooklyn's 'Crystal Palace' [Curbed]
· All Green-Wood Cemetery coverage [Curbed]