Originally published at: https://www.ronenbekerman.com/?p=135523
I live about two blocks from this site located in the historic neighborhood of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Formerly a Gulf fuel station, the site has sat abandoned for more than five years. It’s a prime corner on the intersection of two busy streets, Myrtle and Vanderbilt Avenues. The kink in the garage roof is a detail that caught my eye and feels like it was designed with 1950s optimism in mind. This fuel station was one of the last remaining in the neighborhood.
It’s a revolutionary time for electric vehicles. However, a high hurdle to get over is access to charging points in dense urban places like Brooklyn. The vast majority of people here who own cars park them on the street. So this project proposes giving this former fuel station a new life as an EV charging hub. The original garage will house a local EV bicycle dealer and repair shop serving both the public and numerous delivery riders that rely on them for work.
Above the site will be a new public green space. The supporting structure will take inspiration from the elevated train that used to run along Myrtle Ave until the 1970s. Through some internet scouring, I found a photo taken in 1944 of this exact intersection showing the original train structure above.
There’s been a considerable amount of historic building in the neighborhood already lost and replaced with faux-modern residential buildings. I think there’s an opportunity here to reflect some history of the area paired with serving future needs of the community.