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Feds want to tear down WWII barracks in national park damaged by Sandy

Too far gone: The National Parks Service wants to demolish Building 69 at Floyd Bennett because the Sandy-damaged building isn’t worth the cost of fixing, but since it’s a historic building, it needs state permission.
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The National Park Service has proposed a plan to demolish a historic WWII-era barracks building at Floyd Bennett Field, saying that fixing the damage wrought by superstorm Sandy wouldn’t be worth the cost.

Building 69, as the barracks is known, had hosted park offices for the sprawling Gateway National Recreation Area, until they were moved to the Ryan Visitor’s Center when the renovation of that building was recently finished.

The parks service assessed the condition of the disused building, which suffered significant damage during the 2012 superstorm, and decided that, with the park’s limited budget, the cost of restoring and maintaining Building 69 could not be justified by the limited use it would have in the park, which has a surplus of vacant buildings at Floyd Bennett Field.

But since Building 69 is part of the Floyd Bennett Field Historic District, the parks service needs to get approval from the state to swing the wrecking ball.

“This is a historic building, but it has posed problems,” said Gateway National Recreation Area spokeswoman Daphne Yun. “So we decided to make the demolition agreement with the New York State Historic Preservation Office.”

The proposed demolition must abide by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, Yun said, which requires federal agencies to consider the effects of their actions on historic properties.

The parks service has worked with its Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to determine any adverse effect of the demolition, and consulted with the New York State Historic Preservation Office.

The next step in the approval process is to seek public comment on the proposed demolition, which the parks service it taking through July 15.

You can share your comments from July 3 through July 15 via the website or by mail: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/gate, or Office of the Superintendent, Gateway National Recreation Area, Fort Wadsworth, Attn: Floyd Bennett Field, Building 69, 210 New York Avenue, Staten Island New York 10305.

Posted 12:00 am, July 11, 2018
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