Thursday, May 11, 2006

Street walls would be modest on Dean Street--well, part of Dean Street

There's not much news in the project fact sheet handed out by Forest City Ratner, so we'll have to wait for news reports to see what questions Frank Gehry answered.

One interesting detail concerns the size of the residential building street walls that border low-rise Prospect Heights. Those street walls on Dean Street between Vanderbilt and Carlton Avenues--the southeastern segment of the project--would range between 50 and 90 feet (or five to nine stories), with setbacks to the north of at least 60 to 70 feet. (These four buildings would range from 184 to 287 feet.) That shows some respect for the scale of the community, at least compared to a street wall equivalent to the heights of the beginning. But was this what Gehry meant when he said "it's coming way back"?

The only problem: there's a Dean Street segment of the project at and west of Sixth Avenue as well, and the street walls--at least according to a New York Times photo of a model (right)--don't have similar setbacks. The three buildings there would be 322 feet, 428 feet, and 272 feet. The heights of the buildings in the project overall would range from 190 feet to 620 feet, with 11 of 16 buildings over 300 feet.

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