The heartwarming symbol of the heyday of Brooklyn industrial growth, the 50-year-old “Kentile Floors” sign was saved from oblivion by a group of fast-acting citizens and City Councilman Brad Lander.
At the moment the sign towers eight stories high above a textile company owned by Eliahu Cohen. The actual Kentile Floors Company is long ago out of business. Cohen said the sign itself is rusting and in need of repair, while the building which houses his company was damaged during Hurricane Sandy. Last week it was discovered that Mr. Cohen obtained the permits he needed to take down the sign. Scaffolding was built around the sign but it could not be confirmed if there was a real plan to remove the sign.
In only hours of the scaffolding going up and the information about the permits revealed, citizens began a “Save Our Sign” campaign and organized a nearby protest. Councilman Lander met with Mr. Cohen, who told him that although he would love to save the sign, the costs to preserve it were too high.
Mr. Cohen said in a statement:
“We love the sign, and we heard the voices of so many community members. We will work hard to preserve the letters during removal.”
Founder of the Gowanus Alliance, Paul Basile, said that his group, which is composed of property and business owners in the neighborhood where the sign resides, will work together with the community to save the letters and
“find a marvelous location for their eventual re-installation, where they can serve the public and be part of the future of Gowanus.”