Tobacco Warehouse Transfer Broke the Law, Says Judge

From left to right: Empire Stores, Tobacco Warehouse, Jane's Carousel (being built)

Last week, the United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano ruled that the National Park Service (“NPS”) violated federal law by removing two historic landmarks from federally protected parkland. In January, we wondered why the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) requested the park boundary be amended in 2008 knowing that events were held at the Tobacco Warehouse (OPRHP wrote to NPS to request that the park’s boundary map be amended because “These former warehouse buildings [the Empire Stores and Tobacco Warehouse] are not suitable for nor used by the public for outdoor recreational opportunities in the park”). By amending the boundary, it allows for the property contained within the park to be altered. However, the ruling orders NPS to protect these Civil-War era structures – the Tobacco Warehouse and the Empire Stores – from the current development plans.

The lawsuit was filed by the Brooklyn Heights Association, the Fulton Ferry Landing Association, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and the Preservation League of New York State.

So what’s next for these buildings? According to The Brooklyn Eagle, “The city’s Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which supports the plan to lease the Tobacco Warehouse to St. Ann’s Warehouse to develop a $15 million performance space and community center, vowed to continue trying to make that proposal a reality.”

The following list are references from around the web last week:

Previously on DumboNYC:
{St. Ann’s Warehouse Given The Go at Tobacco Warehouse, 16Feb2011}
{Neighborhood Associations Sue to Stop Development of Tobacco Warehouse, 19Jan2011}
{Why Did NY State Parks Claim That Tobacco Warehouse is Not Used for Public Recreation?, 12Jan2011}
{Tobacco Warehouse, 17Apr2009}