Enormous Henry Norman Hotel coming to Greenpoint

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We stopped by recently and Greenpoint’s forthcoming Henry Norman Hotel seems near completion. It’s at the corner of Henry and Norman on the far side of McGuinness and is owned by the same people who run The Box Hotel. The website features an image of Sir Henry Wylie Norman who, like the hotel, has zero association with the history of the neighborhood:

Field Marshal Sir Henry Wylie Norman GCB, GCMG, CIE (2 December 1826 – 26 October 1904) was a senior Indian Army officer and colonial administrator. He served in the Second Anglo-Sikh War, the campaign against the Kohat Pass Afridis, the suppression of the Santhal rebellion, and the suppression of the Indian Mutiny. He became military member of the Viceroy’s Council (in effect Minister for War in Inia) in 1870, in which role he maintained the policy of ensuring that the Indian Army were less well armed than British troops there to deter another mutiny. As a result he became a member of the Council of India; and in his later years he became Governor of Jamaica and then Governor of Queensland.

The hotel ruffled some feathers last year when it evicted many of its former tenants. From Brooklyn Paper:

Tenants of a Greenpoint warehouse are getting the boot to make room for a hotel designed by an architecture firm with a long history of pushing the limits of legality, according to plans filed with the city.

Artists and business owners who rent loft space in the three-story industrial building at 233 Norman Ave. say that word of their imminent eviction to make way for camera-toting tourists has them scrambling to find a new place, never mind the fact that the guy responsible for the hotel’s blueprints is a “bad boy” architect who a judge in 2010 said nearly committed “out-and-out fraud.”…

Building owner Joe Torres originally had the hotel plans drawn up in 2006, but put them on hold until shortly before the approval earlier this month. Tenants on the top two floors at 233 Norman Ave. say they were given a month’s notice to clear out, but ground-floor dwellers say they are facing even more uncertainty, having not heard a word about their future from Torres.

Torres has not given everyone the silent treatment, though. One tenant said that not only is he in touch with Torres, but the landlord has gone so far as to offer a place to land in another one of his buildings.

“He has helped out a little bit,” said artist Joseph Bone, who has worked out of 233 Norman Ave. for six years. “He seems to have a heart buried in there somewhere.”

The landlord also owns the Box House Hotel, a mile away from the warehouse on Norman Avenue in a similarly industrial (or, if the hotel’s web site is to be believed, “industrial chic) part of Greenpoint, where guests are shuttled to the nearest G train station in private, 1970s checker cabs.

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