About the Metropolitan former MGP Site

The Metropolitan MGP site is first shown on a Sanborn Fire Insurance map in 1886.  At that time, portions of current Block 1007, bounded by 2d Avenue, 9th Street, 12th Street and the Gowanus Canal, were occupied by the Metropolitan Gas Light Company and used for gas storage.  Buildings included a holder, a coal shed and retorts.  By 1904, the site was called the Metropolitan Works Branch and was owned by Brooklyn Union Gas Company, and the MGP had been expanded to the east, two additional holders being added, with gas manufacture infrastructure in the western portion of the site (closer to the canal) having been improved.

Historical records suggest that the site operated as a coal gas plant prior to 1915, by which time the plant appears to have been converted to a carbureted water gas process, an additional hydrogen holder and oil storage tanks being present.  By 1915, the facility had expanded south onto a portion of the block bounded by 12th Street, 13th Street, 2d Avenue and the Gowanus Canal, where a large distribution holder was located.  An asphalt plant (Brooklyn Alcatraz Asphalt Company) was located adjacent to the former MGP on two separate parcels within the block.

By 1938, most of the operating structures had been removed, suggesting that gas manufacturing had ceased and the site was used for gas storage only. At this time, the Ernst Zobel Pitch Paint Manufacturing Plant was reportedly in operation adjacent to and northeast of the site. However, the adjacent Brooklyn Alcatraz Asphalt Company plant was no longer in operation by this time.
By 1950, the north-eastern portion of the former MGP housed a U.S. Post Office Garage and Repair shop, with some former MGP structures still existing closer to the Gowanus Canal on the western portion of the site. The southern portion of the former MGP still housed a gas holder and an exhaust house, with the parcel listed as a storage area.

photoBy 1969, all former MGP structures had been removed from Block 1007, and a food products warehouse was present adjacent to the Gowanus Canal.  By 1972, all structures from the former MGP had been removed from the surface of the site.

The eastern portion of the MGP and two adjacent parcels were investigated and remediated in 2003 by FC Gowanus, LLC, through extensive excavation of the former oil tanks and gas holders. In addition, approximately 44 recovery wells were installed to allow recovery of free phase non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL). The remediation of these areas under NYSDEC oversight, with subsequent redevelopment as a Lowe’s Supply Store, provides the basis for the definition of the Current Site.

Current Site Description

The Current Site is located on multiple parcels along 12th Street, Brooklyn, Kings County, New York 11215, between the Gowanus Canal and 2d Avenue. Currently the site includes a Pathmark Supermarket and several other commercial/industrial uses. Those portions of the Current Site not covered by structures are paved, primarily for customer parking.