From HDC Blog:
February 28, 2011
The Honorable John McHugh
Secretary of the Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400
Dear Secretary McHugh:
We are concerned about the historic structures of national significance on the Admirals Row site at the Army’s former Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. Admirals Row is a six-acre section of the property which was vacated in the mid-1970’s but has remained in federal control. We ask that you ensure quick action to allow emergency stabilization of the Timber Shed and Building B in advance of the planned property transfer, while also completing the transfer expeditiously. These historic structures are severely deteriorated and in need of emergency repairs and stabilization if they are to be saved.
The National Guard Bureau (NGB) has identified these two buildings on the site to save. However, due to agency constraints is unable to perform the needed work on the Timber shed. The potential and likely purchaser, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC), which controls the remainder of the Yard, has communicated their willingness to undertake that work, but has been unable to obtain the necessary agreement from the Army Corps of Engineers and the NGB. The BNYDC has successfully executed other building preservation efforts at the yard, and is the designated agent of the City of New York to which the property is slated for transfer, by an act of Congress.
It is disappointing to see these historic structures further deteriorate while their preservation is held up by administrative processes. The 1853 Timber Shed is the last remaining of its type in the country and Building B would be the only one of the row buildings preserved. Understanding that the Department of the Army takes its responsibilities for historic preservation seriously, the current delays are surely the result of well-intentioned actors. However, the urgency of the situation needs to be addressed. We understand that two million dollars of federal funding has been identified for preservation of this property. We applaud that level of commitment by the Department of the Army, and ask that while the transfer paperwork is being completed, all efforts be made to hasten the site access by BNYDC to perform the urgent stabilization work on these two historic structures.
Charles E. Schumer, United States Senator
Kirsten E. Gillibrand, United States Senator
Edolphus “Ed” Towns, United States Representative
Nydia Velázquez, United States Representative