The rest of the Gowanus is green from toxic sludge, but there's something "green" going on at the canal's mouth, where the big empty lot jutting out into Gowanus Bay from the Sunset Park waterfront at the end of 29th Street looks vacant, but is actually in the process of being raised by four feet and, by December 2011 (fingers crossed!) it will be the gleaming, glowing structure above, the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility.
The factility will be a state of the art recycling plant and active classroom, the outcome of a public-private collaboration between Sims Metal Management and the City of New York. The structure and surrounding land, designed by Manhattan's Selldorf Architects, will feature some 50,000 square feet of solar cells, possibly a wind turbine, and grazing goats! Lucky students visiting the education center will get to learn all about where their plastic bottles end up, and pet the goats, making the Sims the best field trip in Brooklyn. For now, though, it just looks a creepily clean empty lot.