Skip to main content

Featured Post

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what's coming + FAQ (pinned post)

Barclays Center gets "Personal Growth Prize" from critics for hosting protests. I'd call it strategic accommodation.

The architecture critics Mark Lamster and Alexandra Lange, in their 12/28/20 round-up, Mask Up! It’s the 2020 Architecture and Design Awards, offered:
Personal Growth Prize: To Barclays Center, long a symbol of everything that’s bad about the way things get built in New York City, serving as a central Brooklyn meeting spot for weeks of Black Lives Matter protests. PS: And now KD is balling.
Well, that link, unsurprisingly, goes to the New York Times article that came after--but didn't mention--my more skeptical essay in Bklyner on Brooklyn's Accidental New Town Square.

The Times wrote, for example:
The operators of the arena have taken the protests as an opportunity to change the messaging on the screen above the plaza. Gone is the rotating menu of ads for Geico insurance and JetBlue airlines and Dumbo Moving and Storage. In its place is a quote from the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “The time is always right to do what is right.”
I wrote, with more context:
For days, the digital signage in the oculus, the arena’s oval canopy, projected discordant ads from GEICO, Ticketmaster, and JetBlue. On June 7, ads ceased at what one observer dubbed “Standoff Center.” The oculus offered a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—“The time is always right to do what is right.”–more gnomic than “Black lives matter.”
And the award ignores the later essay that described the arena as "totally appropriated" or, of course, complaints about the arena maximizing its plaza with discordant digital signage.

The Barclays Center will be tested when protest gatherings conflict with fans returning to the arena, but we got an inkling of some limits when, three days ago, the arena posted a "UNITY" message--far tamer than the King quote, which implied action--in response to calls for the removal of President Trump.

"Personal Growth"? Only in the most generous possible light. I see it more as strategic accommodation.

Comments