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MEET FROGG’S FOUNDERS
I am a painter, and author, and former art teacher, and have been a resident of the Gowanus since 1976. I became interested in Gowanus preservation in 2002, when a developer sent me a notice that he was applying for a variance at the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), to demolish an old industrial building at 460 Union Street, and replace it with an out-of-scale luxury condo. At various BSA public hearings, I, along with other residents of the Gowanus, spoke in favor of preserving this building. On February 3, 2004, the BSA denied the developer’s application.
As a result of the BSA determination, a group of Gowanus residents, including myself, formed a grass roots organization, called FROGG, Friends and Residents Of Greater Gowanus. I became FROGG’s archivist, collecting and maintaining all materials such as meeting agendas, attendance records, minutes, financial records, copies of grant proposals and applications, newspaper and magazine articles, photographs and historical documents related to Gowanus issues. These materials deal mainly with new development plans for the Gowanus, historic preservation, the EPA Superfund, and all of FROGG’s written responses to various existing and proposed Gowanus projects.
In addition to my archivist role, I am involved in the following activities:
I have successfully worked on four grant proposals for FROGG. Three grants were awarded to FROGG, for preservation purposes, by the Citizens Committee for New York City, and one grant was awarded to FROGG, for industrial preservation, by the Brooklyn Historical Society.
I have worked with the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), the Historic Districts Council (HDC), and the NYS Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), to pursue historic designation of the Gowanus Corridor as an Urban Industrial District. I have worked with HDC on preparing a voters preservation guide for 2009.
I have toured the Gowanus Corridor, with Frampton Tolbert, of HDC, and Kathy Howe and Mark Peckham, of SHPO, to help in establishing the boundaries of a proposed Gowanus Industrial District.