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April 19, 2006

Atlantic Yards...What Could Have Been


From Curbed.com, more proof that developers had designs on the Vanderbilt Railyards before New York State bent over backwards for Bruce Ratner:

Before Bruce Ratner and Frank Gehry decided to play mad scientist with the Brooklyn skyline, there was a time when a different future was imagined for the Atlantic Yards. A reader reflects:

Before Ratner had his eyes on the Atlantic Railyards, Boymelgreen had big plans for Newswalk...not just the renovated Daily News printing plant, but for the whole neighborhood...all that survived was the Newswalk building, but this page from some architectural firm has some pretty hilarious sketches of what could have been...


NoLandGrab: Though the sketches might seem bizarre — "amusement park kitsch" comes to mind — on first glance we see a brew pub (perhaps for the mighty Brooklyn Brewery?) and some serious traffic calming measures that would satisfy transportation advocates. The design scheme would have put off many of those in the neighborhood, but ideas of scale, "fusing together the two neighborhoods" in a pedestrian-friendly environment, would have been welcome by many.

Commentary from Atlantic Yards Report, So, Boymelgreen had a plan for the railyards?:

Surely the goal to knit together the neighborhoods (the page mentions Crown Heights and Park Slope but, strangely enough, not Fort Greene and Prospect Heights) is a sound one. And the scale of this plan is quite modest compared to Forest City Ratner's 16-tower Atlantic Yards proposal. Perhaps it was too modest to be economically successful, even though the only housing was market-rate.

Had it been discussed publicly, perhaps local officials would have urged an RFP for the railyards, rather than let them sit. A discussion of Brooklyn's housing and retail needs might have followed, and multiple bidders might have competed. And then Marty Markowitz and Charles Gargano wouldn't be making pronouncements about how "no one has done a thing about" the railyards.

Posted by lumi at April 19, 2006 7:17 AM