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The Great Green Way in DUMBO

The Brooklyn Paper
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Galapagos Art Space — that hipster haven that has been Williamsburg’s home for outsider performance art since 2003 — is moving to DUMBO next year, and when it does, it’s going green.

Its new location on Main Street will be the first performing arts space in the nation recognized by the Green Building Council for its energy efficient, environmental friendly design.

Natural gas will power the spotlights, the sound system and the rest of the electrical appliances in the building. That means it will be off the city’s electrical grid entirely (though fossil fuel, albeit the cleaner-burning natural gas, will still be used).

Recycled rainwater will flush through the building’s toilets and flow through its sinks (though drinking water, fortunately, will still come from city pipes). And the roof itself will be transformed into an urban meadow with trees, local grasses and flowers.

More than 50 Brooklyn projects — including 15 buildings in the Atlantic Yards project — have registered for the Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification, including a planned 358-unit, market-rate apartment building at 184 Kent Ave. in Williamsburg and the NYPD impound lot at the Navy Yard.

Going green will save on the space’s energy costs, reduce its impact on the environment and allow it to produce more of the work Galapagos has become famous for, like a ukulele quartet, a hula-hoop burlesque show, and unusual puppeteers.

“In Williamsburg, we’ve had to add commercial programming, like DJs and bands that play until 2 am, just to sustain ourselves,” Galapagos Director Robert Elmes told The Brooklyn Paper.

“By building a green and energy-efficient building, we can produce more of the kind of non-commercial work that otherwise wouldn’t be able to find a home in New York City because we’ll be saving so much on our energy costs.”

Elmes said the art space started looking for new digs earlier this year. Before they found a spot at 16 Main St., just down the block from St. Ann’s Warehouse and powerHouse arena, they were ready to quit the city — and the country — altogether.

“We were half-packed to go to Berlin,” Elmes told The Brooklyn Paper. “We didn’t see how we could survive in New York.”

Updated 4:33 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

First Green? Really? says:
In your article, you write, "Its new location on Main Street will be the first performing arts space in the nation recognized by the Green Building Council for its energy efficient, environmental friendly design."

The Gerding Theater at the Armory, in Portland, Oregon, was awarded LEED Platinum status by the US Green Building Council in September of 2006. It was the first LEED Platinum building on the National Register of Historic Places and the first Platinum theater.

But it sounds like this Brooklyn space will be very thoughtfully done and very cool, so I'm not knocking the building at all, just that it wasn't the first.
Oct. 19, 2007, 12:13 am

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