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August 12, 2009

Some Critical Thoughts on Atlantic Yards

Atlantic Yards Report via Brooklyn Daily Eagle

In an episode bizarre even for a newspaper that gives unfettered voice to Dennis Holt and Henrik Krogius, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle today, online and in print, ran a full Atlantic Yards Report post — including two reader comments — from June 11th. The online version ran over a byline saying "by Brooklyn Eagle," while the print edition carried no byline.

The story concludes with "sent by Norman Oder," though Mr. Oder assures us he never sent his post to the Eagle. He has, however, requested some sort of correction and/or acknowledgment.

Henrik Krogius, whose story Mr. Oder critiqued in his original post, did "respond" thusly to said critique.

These various observations are interesting, but they turn a blind eye to the brilliance and complexity of the Gehry plan. Was it just too unexpected, too different, too challenging for so many in Brooklyn? It had greater diversity than Rockefeller Center. I think friend Alex Garvin ( respected planner) would likely agree that a near-empty place at such a confluence of public transit warrants a very high density development — precisely AY. As to having moved more quickly if subjected to the city’s ULURP process rather than a state-initiated community board reviews and public hearings, that’s highly questionable. Note also that I wrote last week that Jane Jacobs might have been “sensible enough to recognize that Atlanic Yards represents a well-nigh unique situation for which a high-rise solution requires no destruction of a viable neighborhood.”

For the record, we couldn't find any direct appraisal of Atlantic Yards by Alex Garvin, though Mr. Garvin did speak, critically, to our ear, of Atlantic Yards at a panel discussion last year. As for what Jane Jacobs might have thought about Atlantic Yards, Mr. Oder has already explored that in detail.

Perhaps the Eagle would like to reprint that story, too?

Posted by eric at August 12, 2009 4:42 PM