Kentile Floors Sign Will Be Removed and Relocated

By Nikhita Venugopal on June 13, 2014 10:12am | Updated on June 13, 2014 3:12pm

 The Kentile Floors sign along the Gowanus Canal at Second Avenue and 9th Street.
The Kentile Floors sign along the Gowanus Canal at Second Avenue and 9th Street.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

GOWANUS — The Kentile Floors sign has been saved — sort of.

The iconic sign will be removed from its Ninth Street and Second Avenue perch, the building’s owner confirmed, but its characteristic red letters will be preserved, according to a statement released Thursday night.

The letters will be donated to the Gowanus Alliance, a neighborhood improvement group, after removal, according to a statement from City Councilman Brad Lander, the alliance and Ely Cohen, the building's owner.

The Gowanus Alliance has been charged with finding a new home for its reinstallation, The New York Times first reported. 

“We love the sign, and we heard the voices of so many community members,” Cohen said in a statement. "We will work hard to preserve the letters during removal."

Cohen will pay the cost of removing the letters intact “if possible,” but there’s a chance that “some damage may occur during removal.”

But the sign, which has been a part of the Gowanus skyline for decades, will still be taken down because of “structural and repair needs,” the statement said.

“Long-deferred maintenance of the sign, the dilapidated condition of the warehouse roof, and ongoing structural issues in the building which were aggravated by flooding during Hurricane Sandy led to a need to take action,” the statement read.

“While Mr. Cohen considered in-place preservation, the cost is prohibitive due to the age and poor condition of the underlying warehouse itself.”

Residents rallied to save the Kentile Floors sign last week after a permit surfaced from the Department of Buildings to have it removed.  

Lander who joined the community's cry and said he was “deeply distressed to learn of the imminent threat to the Kentile Floors sign,” met with Cohen and Paul Basile, director of the Gowanus Alliance, on Tuesday to discuss a way to maintain the beloved sign.

“This agreement insures that the Kentile Floors sign will remain a much-loved part of the Gowanus landscape for generations to come,” Lander said.

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