Gowanus’s Kentile Floors sign has been sitting in storage since 2014, but the much-loved remnant of the area’s industrial past may soon be making its return. The Gowanus Alliance has been caring for the sign since it was taken down, always with plans to return it to the public—and it looks like its day is finally coming. The alliance has unveiled its plans to return the sign to the neighborhood, albeit not soaring above the elevated subway line but planted firmly near the ground at Gowanus’s Under the Tracks playground.
The alliance has been eyeing the disused and formerly derelict playground, so named for its location on 10th Street between Second and Third avenues under the elevated F and G lines, since late 2014. The MTA shuttered the park some time in the late 1990s, when it was plagued by crumbling concrete. But the transit agency’s been working on securing the overpass above the park since 2009, readying it for its next life.
“The work is done and the site is clear and vacant, and we need to push on this site,” Gowanus Alliance leader Paul Basile told Brooklyn Paper. When Gowanus Alliance became the steward of the Kentile sign, it agreed that the sign would remain in Gowanus, would not be placed on private property to benefit developers, and must remain together. At that, the playground is an ideal fit.
Under the alliance’s newly-released plan, the letters of the sign will stand on 10-foot planters and the park will be restored with greenery, seating, and new ball courts. But the property is owned by the MTA, so it’ll be a matter of convincing the agency that this is the best use of space. The alliance plans to present its proposal at the neighborhood’s February community board meeting, where they’re hoping an MTA spokesperson will be present. They also hope to present it to the board’s land-use committee on January 26.
“2017 is prime time to get this thing really going and get attention on it,” Basile said. The future of Gowanus is a bit hazy right now—the city is expected to release its plan to rezone the neighborhood for more residential development sometime later this year.
- Kentile Floors sign and Under the Tracks Playground restoration plan revealed! [Brooklyn Paper]
- Derelict Playground May House Resurrected Kentile Floors Sign [Curbed]
- Say Your Goodbyes: Kentile Floors Sign Not Long for This World [Curbed]
- Brooklyn's Beloved Kentile Floors Sign Is Safe, For Now [Curbed]