In an ever-changing borough, one more relic of the past is the next to go.
The iconic red letters of the Kentile Floors sign, which have been perched on a roof in Gowanus for decades, are coming down.
But while the sign (and unofficial neighborhood landmark) will be dismantled and moved, it will not be tossed to the wayside, City Councilman Brad Lander made clear in a statement.
After news broke that Elyahu Cohen, owner of the textile warehouse at 111 Ninth Street on which the sign sits (and therefore the sign itself), had obtained permits to remove it, Councilman Lander lamented the loss of so many pieces of the Brooklyn skyline (including the Eagle Clothing sign last summer).
“I have written to the owner of the Kentile Sign… imploring him to reconsider removal of this important piece of Brooklyn’s industrial landscape,” he wrote.
And although his wish, one echoed by much of the Gowanus community, won’t be granted — Cohen reportedly thought making the necessary repairs would be too costly — Lander does have a happy update to share: the sign is getting a new home.
The New York Times reports that Lander helped broker a deal with Cohen, who agreed to donate the red letters to non-profit group the Gowanus Alliance, which will take on the mission of preserving the piece of Brooklyn history and relocating it.
Gowanus Alliance volunteer Irina Edelstein told amNewYork that the group is in touch with local experts and will do “whatever it takes” to ensure that the sign is removed without detriment.
As for the sign’s new home, Edelstein said the decision will be made as a community.
“It all depends on the city of New York and the community board,” she said. “We will not make any decisions without consult.”
Edelstein added that different proposals will be put up for a community vote, but that the group hopes to avoid placing the sign on private property once again.