Legendary Theater Can’t Move to N.Y. Landmark

     MANHATTAN (CN) – St. Ann’s Warehouse accepted defeat after a federal judge made permanent an injunction preventing the theater company from moving its performance space across the street to the abandoned Tobacco Warehouse, a Brooklyn landmark.

     Since its 1980 inception, St. Ann’s has had an unconventional history of performance venues and rosters of plays and musicians.
     The theater takes its name from its first home, the national landmark Church of St. Ann and the Holy Trinity in Brooklyn Heights. Shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, St. Ann’s moved into a former spice mill along the Brooklyn riverfront.
     In both venues, St. Ann’s has produced works by a who’s who of experimental theater companies (such as Mabou Mines, Bread and Puppet Theatre and The Wooster Group) and rock musicians (like Lou Reed of Velvet Underground, Deborah Harry of Blondie and David Byrne of Talking Heads).
     Last year, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC) agreed to let St. Ann’s convert the Tobacco Warehouse into a performance space.
     That plan met resistance on Jan. 13, 2011, when five preservationists – the Brooklyn Heights Association, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Fulton Ferry Landing Association, Jane McGroarty and Joan Zimmerman – complained in federal court that the deal was only made possible because the U.S. National Park Service inappropriately allowed the Tobacco Warehouse and Empire Stores to be removed from the map of protected sites in December 2008.
     U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano granted the preservationists an injunction in April.
     He granted summary judgment on their claims on Tuesday.
     St. Ann’s lawyer said he would not appeal the decision, The New York Times reported.

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