Noble Street Fence

by Jennifer Trontz on

The latest in the fight to open Noble Street:

For almost 30 years developer Joshua Guttman has ignored pleas from the community to remove fences on Noble Street that have kept citizens from a public street and scenic views of the East River and Manhattan. In April 2011, the Department of Transportation (DOT) filed suit against Guttman to remove the fences.

GWAPP has worked with local residents and elected officials to increase awareness about this outrageous privatization of public property and put pressure on Guttman to open the fences and let us reclaim our streets. And these are not just any streets; the ends of Noble and Oak Streets (fenced off for more than two decades by Guttman) are on the East River waterfront and offer fantastic river and city views.

Dewey Thompson in front of Noble Street fence. Photo by Stefano Giovannini. From Brooklyn Paper.

Recently, Council Member Steve Levin’s office (D–Greenpoint) stated that the suit is in the “discovery stage and was expected to remain there for ‘some time.’” According to Rami Metal, Levin’s Legislative Director, the suit has not gone as quickly as they had expected. In the suit, the city is demanding that Guttman, who owns the properties on either side of the street—53 West Street and 73 West Street—not only remove the fences but also pay damages for illegally erecting them.

Guttman also owns the property where the Greenpoint Terminal Market once stood before it burned down in a 10-alarm fire in 2006 (a homeless man pleaded no contest to setting the fire), as well as 247 Water Street in DUMBO, which also burned down.

Jennifer Trontz

Jennifer, her husband and two children moved to Greenpoint in 2010. A Florida native, she has written and designed popular culture books on such topics as home economics, good citizenship and album cover art. She is infatuated with old houses and original details. She has volunteered as a big sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City and now wants to devote her time to keeping Greenpoint the great community that it is.