Friday, March 6, 2009

A Tribute to Bob Guskind

I have just posted these words at the now up and running Gowanus Lounge blog, where people are invited to post their memories of Bob Guskind. T.S.

Triada Samaras/C.O.R.D. Co-Founder
// Mar 6, 2009 at 11:51 pm

I am never going to forget the immense support that C.O.R.D. (Carroll Gardens Coalition for Respectful Development) received from Bob and from Gowanus Lounge over the past couple of years. Bob was a true friend to Carroll Gardens: He passionately and thoroughly had been reporting on all of the major projects threatening our historical neighborhood with over-sized and ill-conceived development. He was also exceptionally bright. He personally called me to appear with him on a B-CAT segment featuring our Carroll Gardens “Democracy Wall”, called “A Walk Around the Blog” (2/2008) which we have proudly featured on the right hand side of this blog ever since. The Democracy Wall stood at the Carroll Street F train stop in enormous neighborhood protest to the coming “Oliver House” project. What a supporter Bob was! Indeed, it was Bob that coined the word: “Democracy Wall”. Bob could also be found in person at some of the many neighborhood meetings and events in the tiny amount of “spare” time he had in between his two full-time jobs.

Dearest Bob: You will sorely be missed. Rest in Peace, our friend.


And now for some history, here is a very early blog post at this blog. LINK

(Bob broke this story and featured us many, many more times after this....Hundreds, really, too numerous to count at this sad moment....)

Cord Blog: Saturday, June 23, 2007

"This is our All Hail to Bob!!!! corner:

"To: "Bob" Robert Guskind, masterful journalist at and, and today's newly appointed "Guardian Angel of 360 Smith Street" where would CORD and Carroll Gardens be today without your superior, unflinching, astute, timely, courageous, and thankfully sometimes hilarious(!) coverage of our story? We thank you, thank you!

"A brief history: Bob was the first journalist to break our story both at Curbed and at Gowanus Lounge when he featured our "Heavy Metal" nightmare that began on Memorial Day here in Carroll Gardens. That weekend, residents surrounding the proposed site, learned for the first time about the "imminent" changes coming to our corner: a massive new project now called "360 Smith Street" by developer William "Billy" Stein planned for the corner of
Second Place and Smith street: a 46 unit, 70 foot high towering project over the F train Station at Carroll Street and involving the public subway plaza.

"Until Memorial Day, most residents had neither heard of the "imminent changes", nor the developer, Mr. Stein, not the chosen architect, Mr. Robert Scarano whose architectural license and self-certification ability Councilman Bill deBalsio has recently called on NY State and NY City and local residents to revoke! And, most residents did not fully understand the "AS OF RIGHT" ruling (now challenged in our petition) that allows developers in our beloved neighborhood to proceed without caution or warning to implement vast changes to our Brownstone Blocks without our input, consultation, support, or even knowledge. To date, we have not seen any architectural drawings of Mr. Stein's 360 Smith Street project despite our repeated requests. Nor have any of the proper local and community organizations/politicians stepped up to the plate to help us ACTUALLY SEE and discuss what our block will soon look like.

"We at CORD have now taken the position that "As of right" is JUST PLAIN WRONG !
and we have called for a MORATORIUM! on all buildings and alterations OVER 50 FEET until the politicians and other proper authorities can figure out a way to immediately protect our neighborhood in Carroll Gardens with proper re-zoning and landmarking. The "five-year long" re-zoning process that we we heard about at the CGNA meeting on June 11, is not acceptable. What will Carroll Gardens look and feel like in five years if we do not get immediate help from the politicians? We refuse to support any politicians who do not accept responsibility for our neighborhood.

"Mr. Guskind has also provided invaluable links and story references at Gowanus Lounge to the many other blogs who have recently picked up our story. In addition countless local and city-wide newspapers and journals have kindly and intelligently been also covering our story including: the New York Times, the Carroll Gardens/Cobble Hill Courier, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, the Brooklyn Papers, the Daily News, and more. To all of these sources as well. we send our enormous, heartfelt THANKS! to those who are keeping our corner and our new petition and blog in the news! (Look for coming archives of these sources as well). Sincerely yours,

"FYI: Here is Bob Guskind's coverage (to date) at Gowanus Lounge and at Curbed:

1) 5-25-2007
Smith Street Could Get Very Very Shiny
2) Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Smith Street Revolt Brewing Over Shiny New Building?
3) Thursday, May 31, 2007
More Heavy Metal Backlash in Carroll Gardens
4) June 1, 2007
Carroll Gardeners Continue to Oppose Smith Street Building
5) Saturday, June 02, 2007
Not a Good Week to be a Controversial Brooklyn Architect: Scarano
Rally Planned
6) June 3, 2007
Anti-Building Signage Torn Down on Smith Street
7) June 5, 2007
Battle of 360 Smith Street: Fight for Your Right to Plaza
8) June 6, 2007
Major New Developments in the Battle of 360 Smith Street
9) Thursday, June 07, 2007
Robert Scarano is Having a Bad June
10) June 8, 2007
GL's Guide to Elected Officials & Community Board 6
11) June 11, 2007
Battle of 360 Smith Street: Strategy Session Tonight
12) June 12, 2007
New Shots Fired in Battle of 360 Smith Street
13) June 13, 2007
The Big Carroll Gardens Issues: Rezoning & Landmarking
14) June 15, 2007
More Curious Street-Level Developments in Battle of 360 Smith
Street: Mystery Paint Job
15) June 15, 2007
A Little Brooklyn Tour de Scarano
Scaranos copy 6-15-2007
16) Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Battle of 360 Smith Street: Councilman Circulates Scarano Email
Second Place Plaza
17) June 20, 2007
Carroll Gardeners Busy With Robert Scarano Wikipedia Page?
18) June 21, 2007
Carroll Gardners Post Online Petition, Report Illegal Work

"From Curbed
1) Thursday, May 24, 2007
Heavy Metal Coming to Smith Street?
2) 5-30-2007
Scarano Pushback on Smith
3) Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Carroll Gardens 'Monstrosity' Seem to Have Fan Club
4) June 1, 2007
Carroll Gardeners Now Tossing Bricks at Big Smith Street Building
5) Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Will Carroll Gardens Fight 'South Beach' Look?"


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........