Scaffolding has gone up around Brooklyn's iconic rooftop Kentile Floors sign, and a Department of Buildings permit has been issued to "remove existing structure and sign by hand off roof." The permit was issued in April, but we didn't notice it until Gothamist tipster (and former "Week in Rock" columnist) Jeff Baum spotted the scaffolding last night:
— Jeff Baum (@jeffbaum) June 3, 2014
The timing of the permit is odd; it was issued in April, weeks before the sign was illuminated for the first time since 1992, the year the Gowanus-based Kentile Floors factory closed. If removed, the sign's demise will no doubt be seen as a tragic symbol of the End of Everything that ever made Brooklyn a Cool place to live.
Asked about the permit, Peter Stroh, the owner of an engineering company listed on the DOB permit, told us we needed to speak to the building's owner. Asked point blank if the sign was coming down, he said, "I can't help you," and hung up.
Bryan Kanarek of BKR Partners, which represents Regal Home Collection, the company that owns the building, spoke to us last time rumors circulated regarding the sign's demise. At that time, he unequivocally told us, "The sign's not going anywhere. We love the sign. We have a lot of respect for it."
Reached by phone today, Kanarek was evasive and would not confirm nor deny the sign's removal. He said he was familiar with the DOB permit, but when asked if the sign was in fact coming down, Kanarek said, "I can't talk now. I'm on the other line." Kanarek added that because of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, he would be unable to answer questions about the sign until Friday.
Messages left for the owner of the building, Ely Cohen, have not been returned.