Monday, August 13, 2007

Brooklyn Army Terminal

VANISHING? (not any time soon)

According to the Historic Districts Council and the Daily News, "Brooklyn's northern waterfront has been placed on America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places list.... Maritime properties that stretch from the burned-down Greenpoint Terminal Market to the Brooklyn Army Terminal, where Elvis was shipped off to the (Cold) war, are in danger of being overrun by development.... 'It sounds the alarm for Brooklyn's historic district, which is disappearing faster than you can say Domino Sugar.'"

The Domino Sugar refinery has been "saved," if you can call luxury condo-minimizing salvation. Lost City and Brownstoner report on the slim chance it could become an art museum.

So I thought I'd visit Brooklyn's waterfront by starting at the Army Terminal, which The Municipal Art Society of New York says is threatened.

Seems the best way to explore freely is to pose as an Elvis fan--a memorial poster to the King's Army days is just inside the door--and this is the perfect time to do it, as August 16 marks the 30th anniversary of his death.

From here, walk straight through the lobby and out the back door to view the huge glass-ceilinged atrium and cantilevered poured-concrete balconies that surround the train tracks and platforms from which soldiers and munitions used to pass through on their way to bringing democracy to foreign countries. It's an eerie, haunted place and well worth the trip.

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