June 25th, 2008 -
The Kent Avenue Powerhouse - also known as the BRT Powerhouse - is now being demolished. Despite a general public outcry, including a petition and a blog and articles in the NY Times, Gothamist, Curbed, Brownstoner, The Brooklyn Paper, and in many other media outlets, work has proceeded at a rapid pace. The southern third of the complex, where a huge and ornate hall was located, has already been destroyed. These photos document the state of demolition in that section and show what remains in the two other sections of the building - the northern hall, full of equipment, and a second large hall located in the middle of the complex.
These photos were taken on June 21st, 2008. A recent set of photos from May 2008 by the LTV Squad shows what the southern hall looked like before it was destroyed. It is clearly evident that Con Edison has already demolished a major portion of the building, and will soon demolish the rest.
The Kent Avenue Powerhouse was built during 1905 and 1906 to power streetcars and trains. It was sold to Con Edison in 1950 and remained in operation until 1999. In 2008, it was labeled as a candidate for the National Register of Historic Places by the New York State Historic Preservation Office. For more history on the plant, please read the Williamsburg Power Station chapter from Thomas Edward Murray's book "Electrical Power Plants" and visit one of the first and best stories on the demolition at I'm Not Sayin, I'm Just Sayin.
Update: This complex was completely demolished by July 2009.
In the summer of 2008, the Brooklyn Museum exhibited one of my photographs of Brooklyn's industrial waterfront at their exhibit Click! The exhibit was just down the street from my solo show at the Brooklyn Library, "Twilight on the Waterfront".
The theme of Click! was "the changing face of Brooklyn." My contribution was a photograph of the Todd Shipyard Drydock in Red Hook, which was destroyed by a new Ikea furniture store. Also included in the exhibit were my frequent photography collaborators Sam Horine and Nate Dorr with their photos of the Red Hook waterfront, which can be seen here and here. Additionally, my friends and fellow photographers Ian Ference, Clara Daly, Tracy Collins, Elizabeth Weinberg and Sonja Shield each had photos in the exhibit that took a unique look at Brooklyn's changing industrial waterfront neighborhoods.
Click! proved to be a controversial show and provoked interesting reactions from the New York Times and the Washington Post. A book including all of the exhibited photographs can be purchased here.