Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Markowitz on Barclays Center: a chance to "celebrate the ‘Brownstone Brooklyn’ architecture" (?)

Here's Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz's full statement on the Atlantic Yards arena, which was excerpted in the New York Times's CityRoom blog:

“Make no mistake—the Barclays Center will be built, the Nets will be playing in Brooklyn, and Brooklyn will have a world-class arena after more than fifty years of waiting to get back to the big leagues. But frankly, as we all know, the economic realities have changed since the inception of this project. As has been widely reported, Forest City Ratner is looking hard at ways to realize cost savings by doing things like using more cost-effective materials, while still maintaining the features approved during the public process. There may be a chance to incorporate design and construction changes that will lower the bottom line and celebrate the ‘Brownstone Brooklyn’ architecture that makes our borough unique.
(Emphasis added)

That doesn't sound very Frank Gehry-esque. Rather, it sounds a bit like the Atlantic Terminal Mall. Markowitz didn't mention Gehry, though he saluted him in his 2007 State of the Borough Address.

(Update: The Brooklyn Paper adds:
On the topic of Gehry, the Beep went cold-blooded.

“Frank Gehry is a world-class architect,” Markowitz said. “It’s the decision of the developers and others to decide who is the right person for the job.”
)

Second look

The statement continues:
To that end, I am asking Forest City Ratner and the Empire State Development Corporation to give Barclays’ design a second look, and conceptualize a sports and entertainment venue that is more economically feasible but provides the modern amenities our residents and visitors to Brooklyn demand and deserve.

I can’t think of a more critical moment than now to create the jobs, affordable housing, tourism and enthusiasm that the arena will bring to Downtown Brooklyn and New York City—so let’s get together, let’s get it done and let’s bring the Barclays Center and the Nets to Brooklyn!”

(Emphasis added)

Are people going to be living in the arena?

Remember, the ESDC told the Wall Street Journal last week, ""The aesthetic choices are Forest City Ratner's."

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding. So Marty dutifully issues a call to scale back the size of the thing - after the developer/financiers/whoever have spent a week priming the public for just that. Do you think he realizes just how much of an FCE stooge he looks, or do you think he hopes no-one will notice. I feel slightly insulted to be honest, although I get that sensation most times he speaks in public.

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