GOWANUS — The Old American Can Factory just announced its newest tenant – the Gowanus Canal Conservancy (GCC) – to set up its headquarters and host a suite of community programs out of the arts & cultural landmark.
Located on the ground floor in a former light-filled gallery spanning 15,000 square feet, GCC will use half the office space for eight full-time staff and a number of seasonal educators, gardeners and apprentices throughout the year, and the other half for the non-profit’s events/meeting space to engage the community. Using the Can Factory as a central location, GCC will continue to engage volunteers, students and neighbors in learning about neighborhood environmental issues and advocating for a resilient and active network of public spaces centered on a clean Gowanus Canal. GCC will use the storefront event and meeting space to host a slew of meetings and workshops, including trainings for Green Team apprentices and teachers, community design charettes, pop-up native plant sales, and the annual Gowanus Blue student design challenge.
“Moving to the Old American Can Factory was a natural choice for us as we continue to grow and need a more accessible and visible space for the critical work we do around Gowanus,” says Andrea Parker, Executive Director of the Gowanus Canal Conservancy. “In our new space with floor-to-ceiling windows on the ground floor, we have a direct connection to the public and have more opportunities to get the word out about the importance of sustainability and resiliency in our low-lying neighborhood. The strength and character of Gowanus lies its history of productive urban ecology, from oysters to tide mills to industry. We’re thrilled to be joining such an important landmark for the Gowanus community and be part of a community that is carrying on this tradition of making in Gowanus.”
If you’re not familiar, The Old American Can Factory was established in Gowanus in the late 19th century to manufacture tin cans, and since then, has turned into a modernized artist studio space with over 300 creative tenants that vary from publishers to architects, to silk screeners to documentarists to activists of all kinds. The spaces are totally independent and cater to each company’s style and individuality, which would not be possible without an affordable home, thanks to the Can Factory’s commitment to well below market-rate rent to support creatives.
The Old American Can Factory is excited to be supporting GCC’s mission to facilitate the development of a resilient, vibrant, open space network centered on the Gowanus Canal, located just around the Can Factory complex.