Once the Central Power Station of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, The Batcave building dates back to ~1896. The power plant was powered by coal fire, and was capable of moving 125 tons of coal per hour, according to the publication Electric Power Plants. Due to the toxic history of the plant and surrounding companies the area is considered to be extremely toxic, and is designated as a brownfield. An area becomes a brownfield when a former industrial or commercial site affects future use of the area due to perceived environmental contamination.
The Batcave sits conveniently on the banks of the beautiful Gowanus Canal. The building was once home to a massive organized squatter community that was centered around the Marxist idea of communal living, and stringent rules about hard drug use and detrimental illegal activity were clearly in place. However as the years went by, the space became home to a self indulgent drug culture that was consumed with violence. The NY Daily News reported in 2006 various incidents that took place in the abandoned building; including a homeless man being thrown from a window and heroin use overtaking the community. The squatters were evicted from the space by the building owners in response to the article. The building was “sealed off and posted a guard”, according to Curbed.
Ironically enough the owners of the building planned to create their own community on the property called The Gowanus Village. The plans included a luxury housing development including 350 condos and rental units on a more than two acre site. The New York Times described the plans to be a collection of loft buildings and townhouses on the East bank of the Gowanus Canal, and even bringing in a Whole Foods Market to be located across the street from the Batcave. Our fingers are crossed that the Canal area remains a barren toxic wasteland for degeneracy, and not a playground for well off youngsters. Only time will tell.
Checkout the rest of our collection of photograph’s from The Batcave on page 2!