Last month we learned that, after washing its hands of any responsibility in the slow collapse of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s historic Timber Shed, the National Guard had also given up on the only Admiral’s Row house they’d pledged to preserve, stately Building B (pictured). Well the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the federal agency with which the National Guard consulted regarding the Navy Yard, is pissed, and yesterday assistant director Caroline D. Hall sent a very angry letter (embedded in full below) calling the situation “unacceptable.”
The letter, dated yesterday and addressed to Col. V. Clark Presnell of the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, Virginia, gets really real in the second paragraph:
While consulting parties were distressed by the state of the Timber Shed, all parties were heartened by assurances that Building B would be stabilized, and that the shell of the Timber Shed would remain, evidencing that ARNG (Army National Guard) was committed to preserving some part of Admirals Row. Consulting parties urged ARNG to immediately direct the NY District (Army Corps of Engineers, New York District) to stabilize Building B. Despite that we now understand that the NY District did not complete a single action to stabilize Building B until March 2011. It was well known that Building B had been deteriorating and suffering from weather damage since consultation began in 2007. Given that, it is inexplicable that the NY District did not complete stabilization of Building B before the winter of 2010-2011. Particularly in light of the experience with the Timber Shed, the neglect of Building B and inaction by the ARNG and the NY District are unacceptable.
Thus far the National Guard’s response has been typical, which is to say total silence. Read the whole scathing letter below.