March 26, 2008 -
Across from the United Nations in Long Island City, Queens, lies one of the last empty pieces of land on the East River. This 24 acre lot boasts dramatic views of the Empire State building from 30-foot-high cliffs, rolling hills covered in wild trees, and more access to the river's edge than any other site in Queens. Currently it is an idyllic, private barbeque spot, with homemade swings and benches looking out across the water at Manhattan's midtown rush.
Work has now begun to develop this plot of land into a massive housing complex. Given the name Hunter's Point South, this site is managed by the city's Economic Development Corporation (EDC). It is an extension of Queens West, the monolithic state-owned luxury-housing development to the north. The proposed map of HP South includes at least 13 high rise residences and three new city streets. Controversy over whether any of the 5,000 proposed housing units will be "affordable" has been reported in The Daily News and The Real Deal.
The EDC is resolutely focused on developing New York's few remaining industrial waterfront areas, with other projects including multimillion dollar projects in Sunset Park, the South Bronx, Staten Island and Willett's Point.
March 13th, 2008 -
Admiral's Row is located in the southwest corner of the Brooklyn Navy Yard. This strip of six buildings was abandoned by the Navy in the 1970's and left to decay. Today, the interiors of several buildings are in a state of irreparable collapse. Fires and rain have destroyed roofs and floors while squatters have left mountains of debris. Vines and trees have moved indoors. Windows and walls have exploded inwards. Entire floors are missing.
However, some of the buildings are in remarkably good condition. Their staircases, light fixtures, plasterwork, shelves, mantlepieces and wood floors are only in need of polish and paint. The beauty of these architectural details, when compared to the complete devastation in other buildings, is a stunning indictment of the Navy's neglect.
These historic buildings now stand empty and quiet, though their demolition is being planned to create a new supermarket. This controversial idea has been featured in the NY Times and written about at length on Brownstoner and Curbed. Historical information about Admiral's Row can be found at www.officersrow.org. These photos were taken in conjunction with the The Kingston Lounge, and in association with Pasilalinic-Sympathetic Compass, both of which have more photos of Admiral's Row.
For more photoessays from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, click here.