Gowanus Houses Community Center

This work is part of Gowanus Action, an umbrella initiative; learn more about it here.


    A project focused on making the center more welcoming, celebrating its history, and transforming the space into an informational hub for the community.

    Gowanus Houses community center site visit, April 22, 2022. Photo: Alisha Kim Levin


    The ongoing disinvestment of the Gowanus Houses Community Center is a matter of life and death. Because the center has been closed for nearly 20 years, multiple generations of residents have been deprived of an essential community resource. Countless hours of community-building, resident-led activities have been forced to find alternative space, or have been foregone altogether—a mammoth loss to the Gowanus Houses community. Disinvestment in the center is not an isolated case; it is systemic across New York City. Other NYCHA community centers around the city are in similar states of underuse. Action and funds are urgently needed now and in a sustained fashion over the coming years to ensure members of NYCHA communities have safe, clean, activated spaces in which residents of all ages and stripes can thrive and enjoy themselves.

    Ahead of DDC’s Fall 2022 – Fall 2023 renovation, the Gowanus Houses Resident Association (GHRA) wants to spread word of the Gowanus Community Center’s reopening, and build excitement about how the renovated Center could best serve the community.  The project’s longterm goals are trifold: make the center more welcoming, celebrate its history, and transform the space into an informational hub for the community.

    Hear from the Residents

    “This community was always a family”: Voices from NYCHA’s Gowanus Houses

    In Summer 2022, past and present residents of NYCHA’s Gowanus Houses gathered for the annual Old Timers Day. As part of an ongoing storytelling project, we spoke to event attendees about memories from the Houses and what community means to them.

    Who We’re Working With

    Andreas Tyre


    Gowanus Houses Resident Association

    Tracey L. Pinkard

    Vice President,

    Gowanus Houses Resident Association

    Kia Weatherspoon

    Founder, Determined by Design

    BD Feliz

    BD FELIZ, Principal

    Community Photo Album

    Gowanus Houses Community Photo Album

    Help us create a Community Photo Album that celebrates the Gowanus Houses community!

    Our Space Gowanus

    In 2021 Neighborhood Design Fellowship: Gowanus a paid, six-month program for up to 12 Gowanus residents focused on an action campaign to bring attention to the Gowanus Houses Community Center. With Dark Matter University, the fellows drafted and assembled this pamphlet outlining the history of disinvestment that has plagued the community center and their visions for the future of the space. In October 2021, the pamphlet was distributed at our inaugural Van Alen Block Party and displayed in large format on the street-facing windows of our office in Gowanus.

    Bond Street Bash, May 12, 2022. Photo: Cameron Blaylock

    Gowanus Action

    Resident-led design projects in our home of Gowanus, Brooklyn.

    Neighborhood Design Fellowship: Gowanus

    Gowanus residents work toward the future they imagine for their community.


    A light installation to inform Gowanus residents about water quality of the Gowanus canal.


    Andrew Brown

    Director of Programs