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Gehry's dutiful B1 charade and the marketing of naming rights

In for a dime, in for a dollar--or many, many thousands of them. The opportunity to build his first arena, and maybe even "a neighborhood practically from scratch", means starchitect Frank Gehry dutifully participated in a charade over the name of the flagship Atlantic Yards tower, which is now--as predicted by me and NoLandGrab--up for a naming rights sponsorship.

The New York Observer's Real Estate blog reported yesterday:
Bruce Ratner is looking for a new name for the signature office tower in his $4 billion-plus Atlantic Yards project.

The Frank Gehry-designed tower was known as “Miss Brooklyn” until it was shrunk, redesigned and re-unveiled in April under a new, more staid moniker: “B1.” It turns out that that name, too, may change, should developer Forest City Ratner, led by Mr. Ratner, find a tenant eager enough to attach its name to the building.

B1 was the original moniker.

Gehry's statement

“The design for Miss Brooklyn, which we now call Building One, has become very special for me," Gehry said in a May 5 press release from developer Forest City Ratner.

In a May 5 e-newsletter, the developer upped the ante, suggesting that the utilitarian placeholder "B1" had been "christened": And today Forest City Ratner released new renderings showing Frank Gehry's beautiful redesign of the Barclays Center arena, the first residential building and the office tower now christened B1 (formerly known as Miss Brooklyn).

As I wrote May 6, actually, it was always Building One; I noted comments in September 2006 from the Department of City Planning and the official site plan. It's likely, I added, that B1 is just a placeholder, ready to be jettisoned if and when an anchor tenant is recruited.

Unskeptical press

Still, the press wasn't skeptical enough. The New York Daily News, on May 5: Originally envisioned as a 620-foot residential and commercial tower, the newly named "B1" - or Building One - will be slashed to 511 feet and feature commercial office space only, Gehry said yesterday.

Curbed on May 5 called it [T]he unfortunately named B1...

The Brooklyn Paper, on May 6, wrote: Ratner has said he won’t build the Frank Gehry–designed tower, now called “Building B-1”

(Lumi Rolley of NoLandGrab commented on the likelihood the name was just a placeholder.)

Even Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn's press release stated: The paper reports that the so-called "Miss Brooklyn" signature skyscraper, is now called simply "Building 1."

Metro , on May 6, reported: Gehry — who once said his inspiration for his centerpiece building, “Miss Brooklyn,” was a bride he saw in the borough — jilted her for a tower now called “B1” (Building One).

The Toronto Globe & Mail, on May 19, wrote: The now dubbed B1 replaces the former Miss Brooklyn...

Expect more coverage if/when Forest City Ratner secures an anchor tenant.


  1. So what?

    Is this another in your "Crime of the Century" series?

  2. Never said it was a crime. Just a charade.


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