The Former Factory Has Been Transformed into a New Brooklyn Art Hub

Former Factory Has Been Transformed into a New Brooklyn Art Hub

It is not unusual for old fabrics to be turned into art-related spaces. These buildings have a certain vibe about them, which attracts creative minds. The space that is beginning to be filled with art, the atmosphere of reconstruction, and the history of hundreds of people working there before you — all of these things are appealing to artists, especially young ones. Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation acquired a new space just like that not too long ago. The Brooklyn art scene is now about to change: a former transit power station near the Gowanus Canal has already been transformed into a new arts complex.

The Former Factory Has Been Transformed into a New Brooklyn Art Hub

Several years ago, Powerhouse Environmental Arts Foundation, a Brooklyn-based non-profit organization, chose a transit power station, which had been out of operation for years, as a home for its new project. An abandoned factory building was turned into an arts complex harboring various workshops and studios producing textiles, ceramics, and prints, as well as large exhibition spaces. The masterminds behind the project see it as a “launchpad” for emerging artists and designers.

The philanthropist Joshua Rechnitz sponsored the Brooklyn art project, donating around $180m to the non-profit. The building’s multilevel layout was created by Herzog & de Meuron, known for designing Tate Modern in London, and PBDW Architects. The already existing graffiti pieces are now accompanied by new murals by the artist Ellery Neon, who used to live in the fabric’s building as a member of the punk squatter community.

The district located right on the banks of the Gowanus Canal is one of the most rapidly gentrifying areas in New York. It is overgrowing with luxury real estate, and the Mayor’s administration is looking to build new parks and shops there. An industrial neighborhood, the Gowanus Canal is part of a massive rezoning project that has been in the works for a long time and has already solicited mixed reactions from the press and the locals. Many people who have lived near the canal for years have expressed worries about the escalation of housing prices. Gentrification is a pressing issue in many New York neighborhoods. However, the city administration has suggested that the rezoning will help diversify the areas currently populated by wealthy and primarily white people.

Whichever direction the Brooklyn art scene will take after the changes are implemented, it will be interesting to watch how the former-fabric-turned-arts-complex is developing and growing with time.