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Street Sign Snafu Designates Drab Greenpoint Warehouse a Landmark

By Meredith Hoffman | August 15, 2012 7:05am | Updated on August 15, 2012 8:16am

GREENPOINT — A prized strip of 19th century brick buildings has mistakenly been deprived of its landmark status while a corner across the steet hosting a drab warehouse has received the city's distinctive brown-and-white sign instead. 

The snafu has left some locals baffled and others calling for a correction.

The northeast corner of Greenpoint Avenue and West Street, where the Red Star Bar sits and the landmarked area begins, formerly sported a street sign proclaimng its landmarked status. 

But during the city's recent street sign overhaul to include upper and lower case letters, these signs were replaced with the garden-variety green signs — while the southwest corner housing the warehouse was granted the prized landmark district sign despite its exclusion from the protected area.

"It needs to be changed," said local resident Molly Fitzsimons, who noted the landmark status both signified certain building requirements and added value to properties.

"As a homeowner, it matters."

The Eberhard-Faber Pencil Factory District, consisting of eight buildings and one freestanding wall, was given landmark status in 2007 for its history dating back to the 1860s through the 1880s, the Landmarks Preservation Commission website explains.

And even some neighbors who did not know the history of the district said they had noticed the new brown sign by the warehouse and had begun to wonder about its meaning.

"I noticed it about a month ago, and thought it was interesting," said Jason Medrano, 29, who works down the block from the Greenpoint Avenue corner and said he had no idea the sign had been placed mistakenly. 

But, he said, "I don't think it's a travesty."

A Department of Tranportation spokesman said they would look into the sign snafu.

"We will inspect the location and make any adjustments necessary," the spokesman said.

The LPC did not immediately respond to calls requesting comment.