Williamsburg’s long-in-the-works People’s Firehouse project is one step closer to becoming a reality, launching a new Kickstarter fund that’s already close to its $20,000 goal.
“This building is a symbol that says, ‘You can fight City Hall and win,'” said Paul Veneski, a Northside Town Hall Community and Culture Center board member whose family has been fighting to keep the Engine 212 building up and running since the 1970s, when city officials tried to shut it down as a cost-cutting measure.
The building hasn’t functioned as an actual firehouse since 2003 (Bloomberg shut it down), but a combined effort from Northside Town Hall and Neighbors Allied For Good Growth has been working to turn it into a community center and performance space, fundraising with events like TASTE Williamsburg Greenpoint.
“Blue-collar families are hanging on by a thread in the neighborhood; they need our help,” said Town Hall board member Evan Thies.
The city itself has actually pledged over $1 million to the project, but the money is contingent on the organization raising $500,000 on its own by next June — they’re about halfway there right now, with the $20,000 Kickstarter fund representing a significant chunk.
“If we don’t raise the money by June, that would be a tragedy,” Thies said. “We’d lose an incredible opportunity to save a piece of Brooklyn’s history.”
We won’t tell you how to spend your money, but, you know, this isn’t a bad way to do it…
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.