Originally constructed in 1860, the Tobacco Warehouse, in its roofless state, lies between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges as a symbol of the downtown Brooklyn waterfront's shipping activity of the 19th century. Soon, however, this historic landmark will be transformed into a hub for New York City performing arts.
St. Ann's Warehouse, one of Brooklyn's popular performing arts institutions, publicly presented the design for its adaptive reuse of the Tobacco Warehouse last night. In a presentation before Community Board 2 Joint Subcommittee of Parks and Land Use, Jonathan Marvel of Rogers Marvel Architects PLLC announced plans to preserve the structure, while transforming it into a year-round performing arts facility and community hub where St. Ann's will make its permanent home.
The design plans include an 18,000 square foot enclosed building; a 1,000 square foot space to be used as a community room for local artists, educational and civic groups, support spaces; and a lobby with access points to Brooklyn Bridge Park. The design will preserve the warehouse's original brick walls and will also include a "view corridor," through which patrons can look at the park and the river all the way from Water Street. There will be a 7,600 square foot open-air triangle space left available to the public during park hours.
"Our partnership with St. Ann's Warehouse captures a critical component of what makes Brooklyn Bridge Park such a wonderful place: exciting and diverse programming that adds to the park experience in a meaningful way," said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. "St. Ann's stellar reputation for producing such programming and their presence in the much beloved Tobacco Warehouse is sure to enrich the park immeasurably and attract new park visitors throughout the year."
Artistic Director Susan Feldman said, "This design for the Tobacco Warehouse opens up so many possibilities for people to enjoy the building and the park all year long — as artists, audience members, and visitors. We're very hopeful and extremely thankful."