City Completes $31.6 Million Refab of Historic South Williamsburg DEP Building

City Completes $31.6 Million Refab of Historic South Williamsburg DEP Building
350 Flushing Avenue (Image: NYC Department of Environmental Protection)

The city announced today that it has completed a $31.6 million project to refurbish and upgrade a historic building on Flushing Avenue used by staff of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The three-story, 105,000-square-foot building at 350 Flushing Avenue, which was completed in 1904, is not a designated city landmark. But its neo‐Classical and neo‐Egyptian-style appearance and design, DEP said announcing the project’s completion, “are of landmark quality and, therefore, it was refurbished and upgraded in order to preserve the historic character of the building.”

“Operating and maintaining the City’s vast water infrastructure requires DEP to be present in nearly every community across the five boroughs and we strive to integrate our facilities into the neighborhood,” DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said in a statement.

The building currently houses office space, a machine shop, garage, locker rooms and storage space for DEP’s water tunnel and shaft maintenance staff. The restoration included masonry facade repair; a new roof; skylight replacement; structural rehabilitation, and window repairs. The building also has a new HVAC system to heat and along with new hot water heaters, electrical heaters, gas fire heaters, new electric panels, and a climate-controlled map room.

Water service and gas lines were also replaced, and a new main power distribution panel was installed along with a new fire alarm system. Additional work included a new women’s locker room, the installation of handicap accessible ramps and new steel staircases.

Funding for the project was provided by DEP while the city’s Department of Design and Construction managed the construction.

An undated historical photo of the building. (Image: NYC Department of Environmental Protection)

The structure was designed by the architecture firm Warren & Wetmore, which also designed Grand Central Terminal, and was commissioned by the Street Cleaning Department, a precursor to today’s Department of Sanitation. It cost about $300,000 to build, and included a blacksmith’s shop and 250 horse stalls.  The Department of Water Supply, Gas & Electricity purchased the building in 1934, for use as their repair headquarters. The agency received $400,000 in funding from the federal Works Progress Administration to retrofit the building in 1936.

“Our city’s ailing infrastructure is in serious need of improvement,” said Council Member Stephen Levin, who represents the area, “and prioritizing infrastructure projects while demonstrating integrity and respect for the historic character of buildings serves as a model for what we are capable of.”