The former living quarters of senior officers at the Brooklyn Navy Yard is beyond repair, the National Guard declared on Thursday.
A letter by Colonel Clark Presnell sent to several local politicians states that the home along Flushing Avenue — known as Building B — is simply too dilapidated to be preserved as originally planned.
“Part of the north wall of Building B has collapsed,” wrote Presnell in the letter dated April 21. “The mortar that holds the wall together has completely dissolved, rendering the entire wall unstable.”
Now, the building will not be stabilized by the Guard before ownership of Admiral’s Row is transferred to the Brooklyn Navy Yard — a move that raises the question of whether it will ever be preserved.
In February the National Guard announced that it would not stabilize the Timber Shed, which was once used as a storage area for ship’s masts.
The Navy Yard has said it can restore both buildings, but that is not possible until title of the property is transferred; a seemingly interminable bureaucratic process.
Originally, the stabilization of both structures was a critical factor in the transfer of Admiral’s Row to the Navy Yard. The buildings were set to be historic centerpieces in a major development that would include a ShopRite supermarket comparable in size to the Fairway in Red Hook.
It now falls upon the Navy Yard and the city to preserve both buildings — but neither is allowed on the property until they own it.
“The Brooklyn Navy Yard…remains committed to doing everything possible to save Building B and the Timber Shed,” said Shane Kavanagh, a Navy Yard spokesman. “The National Guard Bureau must transfer the site expeditiously and provide the Navy Yard with the $2 million in federal funds identified for stabilization.”
In March, Jon Anderson, a spokesman for the National Guard, said that the elaborate bureaucratic process of transferring ownership of the properties could be done by the middle of the year.
In the meantime, local politicians and Navy Yard execs are left twiddling their thumbs as the buildings decay further.
“This property must be transferred as expeditiously as possible,” said Sen. Charles Schumer, who was among the quartet of politicians who pressed the National Guard last month. “Every effort must be made to delay further deterioration of these historic buildings and provide an opportunity for complete restoration as a springboard for the best future use of the whole site.”