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September 20, 2010

Brooklyn Historical Society exhibit mistakenly claims Ratner built on site O'Malley wanted, which "remained largely unchanged until 2003"

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder has a fascinating post on a new, factually inaccurate exhibition by the Brooklyn Historical Society. Be sure to check out the maps of the several locations proposed in the Fifties for a replacement for Ebbets Field.

OK, it's not an uncommon error. The New York Times got it wrong, and so did an author relying on the newspaper.

But the Brooklyn Historical Society (BHS)?

Yes, the BHS dismayingly continues the meme--nudged by developer Forest City Ratner and perpetuated by journalists and authors--that the Atlantic Yards arena would be situated on the "same site" Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley sought for a successor to Ebbets Field.

The meme mars a generally good BHS exhibition, Home Base: Memories of the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, which includes a panel stating:

Across town, the site where O'Malley had hoped to build his new stadium remained largely unchanged until 2003, when real estate developer Bruce Ratner announced plans for the area. He envisioned eight million square feet of apartments, offices, shops, and an arena for the New Jersey Nets basketball team. Neighborhood opposition and an economic recession slowed progress. But Ratner finally broke ground on March 11, 2010.

(Emphasis added)

That's not true--and it's disappointing (see below) that the BHS plans only to have its guides offer clarifications, rather than re-do or annotate the panel.


NoLandGrab: The Brooklyn Historical Society, which has accepted money from Ratner and Barclays, is not distinguishing itself by shaping "history" to Bruce Ratner's benefit. BHS? More like BS.

Posted by eric at September 20, 2010 10:14 AM