Sunday, February 01, 2009

Let's call it the AY downsizing meme, with a misleading illustration

Apparently the reversal of the Atlantic Yards inevitability meme has now been joined by the AY downsizing meme--and both are far less certain than asserted.

We don't know what a revamped Atlantic Yards arena would look like, other than there would likely be less glass--which certainly would help with security. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz recently speculated:
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.

It was unclear how much that referred to the arena or to the associated towers.

Hype in the Post

Still, on Monday, the New York Post turned that into:
The economic downturn has even scaled back the hopes of the project's biggest cheerleader, Borough President Marty Markowitz, who recently called for the planned future home of the NBA Nets to be substituted for one with a cheaper "brownstone" fa├žade...

The Post even commissioned its own speculative illustration. I don't think there's a chance that the arena walls would be that far from the street, given previous reports of 20 feet.

Then the New York Times dutifully cited it in its Morning Buzz column:
So this is the biggest project in Brooklyn? The Atlantic Yards plan has fallen a long way from the spectacular glass-and-steel arena designed by the architect Frank Gehry and surrounded by 16 high-rises. [New York Post]


Lupica joins in

And today, New York Daily News sports columnist Mike Lupica writes:
If Bruce Ratner scales down his own business model on that great, big, change-the-skyline plan for the Nets and Atlantic Yards, it's going to resemble a model train set.

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