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Commonly known as Public Place, the site for Gowanus Green was formerly the site of the Citizens Gas Works Manufactured Gas Plant. The plant was operated by Brooklyn Union Gas (BUG) from 1895 until its closing in 1959. The City assumed control of the site in the 1970s.

BUG and Long Island Lighting Company (LILCO) merged in 1998 to form KeySpan Corporation and in 2007, Keyspan was acquired by National Grid. Despite not presently having ownership of the site, National Grid is responsible for its environmental remediation because it was contaminated by a predecessor company.

Public Place is located within Community District 6 and comprises approximately 243,000 square feet. The Site corresponds with Block 471, Lots 1 and 100, which is bounded by 5th Street to the north, the Gowanus Canal to the east, a privately-owned building to the south, and Smith and Hoyt Streets to the west.

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