Last week, many Gowanus residents were outraged to find out that the city has approved the first stage of a plan to turn the Gowanus Canal into a Venice-like tourist area. The hope is that the new mini neighborhood, dubbed “Little Gowanice”, will generate enough revenue to offset the millions needed to clean up the heavily-polluted superfund site. According to Chinese architecture firm Duplitect, Little Gowanice would feature a main canal (which would be a restored and renovated version of the current waterway) as well as several smaller offshoot canals leading right into the heart of the neighborhood. Tourist attractions would include gondola rides, Venice-themed eateries and a “Tunnel of Love” ride.
“Little Gowanice would not only create an exciting new destination in Brooklyn, it would also help pay for the extremely costly clean-up of the Gowanus,” said Tom Chan, lead architect at Duplitect. “The new attraction could do for Gowanus what the High Line did for the west side of Manhattan.”
Many Gowanus locals don’t feel the same way, however. “We’ve seen the kind of work Duplitect has done, and that’s definitely not what we want for our neighborhood,” said Myra Bledsoe of the Gowanus Residents Association. “They build exact replicas of other towns which is amazing, but we already have a community and we want to keep the integrity of our own neighborhood alive.”
Though the plan has been preliminarily approved, Community Board 6 will hold a hearing on the proposal next month.
Just kiddin’ folks – April Fool’s!!