Monday, April 20, 2009

Brooklyn's Municipal Building Facade Rehab Underway

Restoration work on the facade of Brooklyn's Municipal Building (210 Joralemon Street at Court Street, Downtown Brooklyn) is set to begin. Scaffolding (faintly visible to the left) is being erected on the north side, and numbered patches have appeared on the west facade (see photo below).

The restoration program encompasses facades and setbacks, including repair of cracked and spalled limestone masonry cladding, pointing, glass and glazing work, and coating of structural steel, according to Superstructures, which is providing investigation and design services.

The restoration will also address Local Law 11 related conditions, according to Superstructures.

According to Minority Commerce Weekly, the estimated project range is $100,000 to $175,000.

Numbered patches on the facade next to the missing chunk .

Is this a lead-up to the much-discussed conversion of the bottom two floors of the building to 22,000 square feet of retail space? (See New York Daily News, Curbed, Brooklyn Paper, Brooklyn Eagle.) This idea was first run up the flagpole by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership in 2007.

The Municipal Building presently houses city offices like a City Finance Department office and the Brooklyn office of the City Clerk.

In his 2009 State of the Borough speech, BP Marty Markowitz called for Finance to move out of the Municipal Building and become an anchor tenant at City Point (at the site of the old Albee Square Mall). The City Point project is currently stalled.

Markowitz said the move would open the building to retail uses such as Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom Rack or Saks Off 5th.

Let's hope the rehab won't affect the "wonderful Missouri brachiopods" that can be found embedded in walls (most likely interior) in the building. Brachiopods, according to the New York Times, are primitive shellfish that are almost as old as life itself.

Top two photos by MK Metz
Rendering Courtesy of Studio AMD

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

Interesting speculation! I guess this means we're in for more scaffolding (there should be a time limit on how long those things can be up), but it be a small price to pay for some spiffy new retail on that corner.

Is it too much to ask for a Muji or a Uniqlo?

Any idea what the numbered patches are for?

Anonymous said...

Numbered patches -- sounds like a color matching test.

Anonymous said...

The Municipal Building replaced a public park on Joralemon Street. There were smaller buildings on Court Street. Indicates what you could get away with in the bad old days.

Next to one of the pillars as you go down into the subway, at its base, is a marker indicating the height above sealevel (I believe 61 feet) inserted by the US Geological Service.

bj said...

So cool. Have to look for it.