10 May 2007: BROOKLYNS FAIRWAY MARKET AT RED HOOK RECEIVES MASTERWORK AWARD FROM THE MUNICIPAL ART SOCIETY OF NY
The Municipal Art Society of New York presented Fairway Market at Red Hook with a Masterwork Award for Best Neighborhood Catalyst at its awards ceremony held May 9, 2007, at the General Motors Building Fifth Avenue Plaza in Manhattan.
The Neighborhood Catalyst Award “recognizes a new or a newly restored building that is spurring revitalization in the surrounding neighborhood.”
According to The Municipal Art Society, “Developer Greg O’Connell has converted an abandoned, city-owned warehouse into a sought-after Red Hook destination for both local residents and tourists. Adaptively reusing the building to accommodate a Fairway grocery store, an outdoor café, and apartments, Mr. O’Connell also took full advantage of its unique waterfront location, creating an on-site ferry dock offering NY Water Taxi service on weekends.”
Mr. O’Connell remarked that the project has served as an anchor for economic development in the community. Since Fairway opened last May, retailers have increased their business, vacant storefronts along Van Brunt have filled up, and Steve’s Authentic Key Lime Pies down the street is reporting more walk in business than in the previous seven years.
“I’m very honored to receive this award, but I feel a bit like that book “The Little Engine that Could” when I look around and see the other projects in Manhattan that are receiving this award,” Mr. O’Connell said. “It’s pretty impressive.”
Other projects honored with the Municipal Art Society’s Masterwork Award included the Hearst Tower, 300 W. 57th Street; the General Motors Building Fifth Avenue Plaza; and Battery Maritime Building.
As part of Mr. O’Connell’s team, Susan Doban Architect, PC, was responsible for designing the mid-19th Century building’s interior courtyard and 45 apartments above the Fairway Market. The apartments combine residential living with artists’ studios, reflecting Mr. O’Connell’s dedication to the creative community.
“It was a unique opportunity in so many respects,” said Ms. Doban, president of Susan Doban Architect, PC. “To some degree we acted as stewards of the historic building and we were determined not to detract from its original character. Luckily we had a client who was committed to preservation. It also was a pleasure to work with a team so devoted to the neighborhood of Red Hook and Brooklyn in general, and work on a project that used the creative resources of Brooklyn.”
Ms. Doban said her architectural firm juxtaposed sleek, modern materials with the original brick in the existing structure and laid out the site to accommodate the influx of retail and residential traffic and the cogeneration facility, which provides electricity for the building.
“Everyone knows a lot about Fairway because they see it and use it and love it,” Ms. Doban said. “But there is additional excitement in the interior courtyard of the building and the apartments above with their views from arched windows of sunsets, the harbor, and Statue of Liberty.”
In addition to Mr. O’Connell and Susan Doban Architect, other members of the team honored for the Fairway project included: Howie and Daniel Glickberg, Fairway Market owners; Mike O’Connell, O’C Construction, construction manager; Energy Concepts Engineering, PC, cogeneration plant designer; Lynden B. Miller Public Garden Design, landscape design; and Scott Schnall, Schnall & Schnall, engineer.
Nominations were reviewed by a jury which included Helena Rose Durst, assistant vice president of The Durst Organization; Jonathan Marvel, partner in Rogers Marvel Architects; Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University; Susan Rodriguez, partner in Polshek and Partners; and Billie Tsien, partner in Tod Williams Billie Tsien and Associates. The committee declined to designate an honoree in the category of Best Residential Restoration this year.
The Fairway Market building is one in a series of historic warehouses Mr. O’Connell has redeveloped and preserved in Red Hook. The others include Pier 41 and the Beard Street Warehouse, which are used for light manufacturing and office space.
Susan Doban Architect, PC is a Brooklyn-based architectural firm focused on new construction and adaptive reuse projects in the commercial, residential, and educational fields. The firm has designed a number of adaptive re-use and renovation projects, including an administrative and classroom building for Monroe College in New Rochelle; restored façades on New Rochelle’s Main Street. The firm also designed the offices of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce in a 19th Century building that originally housed a major department store. In recognition of the design, the Chamber presented the firm with one of its Building Brooklyn Awards in 2004. Susan Doban Architect, PC has worked on more than 30 New York City School Construction Authority projects. More information about Susan Doban Architect, PC is available at 718-797-1041 or www.susandoban.com.
The Municipal Art Society of New York is a private, non-profit membership organization whose mission is to promote a more livable city. Since 1893, the MAS has worked to enrich the culture, neighborhoods and physical design of New York City. It advocates for excellence in urban design and planning, contemporary architecture, historic preservation and public art.