Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Press Release

December 19, 2007

Eileen Larrabee

New York State Parks Announces Temporary Closure of Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park

Structural Concerns at Historic Empire Stores Warehouse Cited

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation today announced the temporary closure of Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in Brooklyn due to newly discovered structural issues at the historic Empire Stores warehouse in Fulton Ferry Landing.

Engineering reports received this week by the Office of State Parks indicates structural deficiencies and deteriorating conditions at the Civil War-era Empire Stores. As a result, sidewalk bridging will be installed to protect pedestrians from possible falling brick. Other identified structural weaknesses at the building include a large crack that has developed in the northwest corner of the building and the deteriorating brick window arches.

"Empire Stores is a truly significant structure and is imbedded in the character of the DUMBO section of Brooklyn," said State Parks Commissioner Carol Ash. "Right now, as we continue to seek more answers from engineers and other experts, we need to proceed with protecting the public and stabilizing the building. We are hopeful that once necessary bridging is installed along the building, the park will be reopened."

Robert Silman Associates is being retained to design a stabilization plan for the building. Cost estimates and time frames are being developed at this time.

Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park is a nine-acre waterfront park along the East River in Brooklyn located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. The landmark Empire Store warehouse played an integral part in the great shipping activities that once dominated the entire Brooklyn waterfront.

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