Saturday, October 3, 2009

Admiral's Row, Scott Witter, and B.O.M.B.

There was an interesting story in today's New York Times about a place I was curious about when I first noticed it earlier in September on a walk back from Fort Greene. It was (it still is) on Hall Street between Myrtle Avenue and Park Avenue (the BQE). The Times story relates to the City's determination to destroy Admiral's Row, a group of 19th-century officers' quarters remaining in the Brooklyn Navy Yard nearby on Flushing Avenue. And the equal determination of Scott Witter to help preserve them; more than equal determination we hope.

I have found Hall Street itself to be a nice way to cut up into Fort Greene as I walk over from Williamsburg. It's a narrow, quiet street with small houses that the owners are obviously trying to preserve and care for. I have been wishing them all the more luck since they sit in the shadow of that great new green glass saltine box that has been abuilding in the next block. It might send shivers down anyone's spine that this is the future of the neighborhood. Especially since other blocks are coming under the ax in the vicinity of Myrtle Avenue.

These are some pictures I took in early September:

Scott Witter's place mentioned in the Times story is just behind the dark car on the left. That's looking toward Myrtle Avenue. The picture I took in early September was a bit blurry; I passed by again on my way to New Utrecht in early October and took another, I hope clearer, one. Ditto for the photo below, a closer look at the display along the sidewalk.

From the picture above, you can see what I mean about being in the shadow of that construction. And the developers really couldn't be more blatant about their aims than in the sign below hanging on the fence outside the construction site. I like the way the "WANTED" is displayed in such large, bold letters.

Of course, little of this relates to the Navy Yard and Admiral's Row, I just wanted to fill you in a bit on Hall Street.

Please read the Times story.

All this is sort of what I talked about in that earlier post I called "A kind of a rant about the river." The City seems to have handed over the Navy Yard to a private group to develop and keep everyone else out of. Properly handled, the Navy Yard could be a real plus to the neighborhood, to all Brooklyn. Let's hope the B.N.Y.D.C. can be stonewalled until something works out.

I wandered over that way today with the thought that I might get to the old neighborhood of New Utrecht over in Borough Park but I was forestalled by the rain and turned back when I got to Myrtle Avenue. But I did notice on other blocks in that area that the same thing is happening. I'd hate to think that the whole Myrtle Avenue corridor is going to look like 6th Avenue in Chelsea soon since people probably move to the Fort Greene area (among many other Brooklyn neighborhoods) to get into a small neighborhoods and away from skyscrapers.

Below are three pictures I snapped this afternoon. They were taken at Emerson Place a few blocks from Hall Street on Myrtle Avenue. The first shot looks toward Hall Street in the direction of downtown, the second looks in the opposite direction. For the third shot I just turned around and looked down Emerson Place toward the BQE. You can see the trend of the construction; inexorably, block after block.

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