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June 13, 2007

[De]Construction of The Neighborhood

By Tracy Collins
Hardcover, $40; Softcover, $25
Purchase: AtlanticYardsPhotoBook.com

Photographer Tracy Collins has been posting his dramatic images of his neighborhood-in-flux on flickr, as Bruce Ratner's controversial Atlantic Yards project is not only transforming the footprint of the project, but looms over the surrounding blocks.

Now, Collins has organized these images into a book that provides a snapshot of a neighborhood on the precipice of dramatic change.

With a simple neighborhood map outlining the footprint and showing the location of all of the images, the photos speak for historic buildings set to be demolished and their neighbors, which will remain to endure and bear witness.

In the Epilogue, Collins shares his feelings about the project, which seem to reflect the sentiment of the entire neighborhood:

As my home would be less than a block from the nearest hi-rise building on the corner of Dean St. and Carlton Avenue, I'm anxious, to say the least.
...
My neighbors and I will have to live with decades of construction and the consequences of whatever gets built. I'd love to have a reasonable, rational and attractive development built over the rail yards. Who doesn't? But if Atlantic Yards in its current form is what is actually built, I fear that the neighborhood in which I chose to make my home will not be merely transformed, but will be replaced.

Is Collins's book a rallying cry or a requiem? It would depend on your own thoughts and feelings about the project.

Posted by lumi at June 13, 2007 10:16 AM