Kentile Floors sign will get a new home
I'm pleased to report that we've reached an agreement with the owner of the Kentile Floors sign to save the letters and give them a new home. You can read coverage about it in the New York Times and I wanted to give you all the details. The sign's owner, Ely Cohen, has agreed to preserve the letters of the sign during removal, and donate them to the Gowanus Alliance (a neighborhood not-for-profit organization) for preservation.
Mr. Cohen indicated that removal of the sign was driven by structural and repair needs. Long-deferred maintenance of the sign, the dilapidated condition of the warehouse roof, and ongoing structural issues in the building which were aggravated by flooding during Hurricane Sandy led to a need to take action. While Mr. Cohen considered in-place preservation, the cost is prohibitive due to the age and poor condition of the underlying warehouse itself.
At the same time, Mr. Cohen is sensitive to the community’s association with the sign. After meeting with myself and Paul Basile, founder and director of the Gowanus Alliance, Mr. Cohen, who has operated his business in Gowanus for 14 years, and intends to remain, readily agreed to work together to preserve the sign letters. Mr. Cohen will absorb the substantial extra cost of seeking intact removal of the letters, if possible.
I am proud to have helped to lead the community organizing calling for the preservation of the sign, and to have worked with Mr. Cohen to develop this solution. I am very grateful to Mr. Cohen for working together with the community to preserve this iconic symbol of Brooklyn, and of the mixed-use past and future of the Gowanus Canal. I look forward to working together with Mr. Cohen, the Gowanus Alliance, and members of the community to preserve the letters and identify an ideal location for their re-installation. This agreement insures that the Kentile Floors sign will remain a much-loved part of the Gowanus landscape for generations to come.
Thank you to Mr. Cohen, Paul Basile, Steve Savage, Catherine Zinnel from my office, and all the folks who organized around this effort or signed our petition.