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November 7, 2006

Why historic buildings in the AY footprint should be reused, not demolished

Brooklyn Speaks calls on developer Bruce Ratner to save two buildings in the Atlantic Yards footprint:

WardBakery.jpgOne of the great urban success stories of recent decades has been the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Where once we simply demolished historic buildings to create "blank slates" for new development, planners and developers increasingly have recognized the tremendous economic, cultural and social value in reusing existing structures while still allowing for new development. Jane Jacobs famously said that “Lively, diverse, intense cities contain the seeds of their own regeneration” and today we can see the results of adaptive reuse in Soho, Tribeca and other vibrant, economically successful neighborhoods across the city.

Unfortunately, Forest City Ratner does not propose to heed this lesson: they plan to demolish all of the historic buildings in the project footprint. Two of the most historically significant buildings - the Ward Bakery (pictured above) and the Long Island Railroad Stables Building - will be razed to create unnecessary surface parking lots and construction staging areas that will last until 2016 at the earliest – and could even be permanent.

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Posted by lumi at November 7, 2006 7:09 AM