Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Hello from CORD!

The post below was sent to CORD from Phil DePaolo, our neighbor and fellow community activist in Williamsburg Brooklyn. Phil reminded us that one year ago, we lost a dear friend and incredibly passionate Brooklyn community activist, Bob Guskind, author of the Gowanus Lounge Blog and writer for Curbed, among other things. There is not a day that goes by that we at CORD do not think of Bob. He was a stalwart supporter of CORD from our earliest days as community activists protesting the Oliver House luxury condo development in Carroll Gardens. Today "Oliver House" is in construction, and looming larger than life, even though merely partially constructed vertically in the air. "Oliver House" is on the way to dominating our front gardens streetscape forever, on the corner of Smith Street and First Place, a low-rise, brownstone block, and a noticeably narrow street.

We often say that we have no idea where CORD would be today had it not been for the compassionate, listening ear and and superior journalism instantly provided for us by Bob Guskind. Rest in Peace our friend. We miss you each and every day! CORD


Today is one year since the passing of Bob Guskind. I miss him so much and I wonder what Bob would be saying about all the developments since his passing. I know he would be thrilled and very proud of the residents of Gowanus who won a Superfund designation yesterday over the objections of the Mayor. This was very important to Bob. I know he would also be very happy that the Newtown Creek has also received Superfund designation.

- Hide quoted text -

Bob would not be happy about what has happened at Coney Island or Atlantic Yards. The loss of historic structures, the loss of amusement space and the overwhelming density and limited scope of the Coney plan were issues we often spoke about.

The recent ruling by Judge Gerges regarding Atlantic Yards would have angered Bob. He was a strong supporter of protecting residents from Eminent Domain abuse. He also saw through the fake “Affordable Housing” and the impact of the proposed density on the existing community.

He would be all over the new Domino proposal in Williamsburg. Bob was a strong advocate for the preservation and protection of the Domino site. The proposed density and lack of true affordability would have him up in arms!

Bob would be proud of some of our bloggers who have done a great service to our communities discussing important issues that for the most part are ignored by mainstream media. But he hated hack bloggers who simply cut and paste information or were just lazy. I remember one of Bob’s first post explaining why he started Gowanus Lounge. “Up front: While I am a realist about what cities need in order to survive and thrive, I am not a fan of what is happening in our communities, and particularly of the looming Manhattanization of Brooklyn and of the ongoing Theme Parkization of Manhattan. The blog side of Gowanus Lounge will be joined, some months down the road, by a literary magazine intended to feature the work, especially, of Brooklyn-based writers, and stories that feature a strong sense of place. I don't take myself as seriously as all this might make it sound.

I can’t believe it has been a year since Bob passed away. But going forward I have wonderful memories of a great friend. I hope you can take a second to remember him. You can still see his writing and thoughts at and



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........