Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Forest City Ratner's new ad campaign, riding the Daily News editorial

In terms of gush, the 5/14/06 Daily News editorial in support of the Atlantic Yards project has become the reigning champ, surpassing the effort of former New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp in 12/11/03 essay. The critic wrote that "A Garden of Eden grows in Brooklyn;" the Daily News called it, in strained mall-speak, A super design for a great project.

I've already dissected the editorial, but I just had a chance to read it again, since Forest City Ratner has not only reproduced the editorial in one of its Atlantic Yards E-Newsletters (right), it has done so in ads in this week's Brooklyn Downtown Star and Courier-Life chain. (Has the developer given up on the more critical Brooklyn Papers? Note the Papers' comments near the end of the slideshow.)

Additional flaws are evident on a second reading, especially given the discussion of the project in the last two weeks. Why no mention of the interim surface parking that would last for years on the land that the editorial anticipates would become a "welcoming landscape"? Why no effort to assess the appropriate scale of the project? And, given the very mixed reviews the project has gotten from three architectural critics, how exactly does the Daily News editorial board claim its expertise, other than its consistent cheerleading for the project?

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