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March 10, 2012

On Charlie Rose, Ratner talks up arena: Conseco + glass/steel = "first building... in the last ten years that is really a contemporary new building"

Atlantic Yards Report

Charlie Rose's interview with Bruce Ratner last night is not yet online, so for now I'll rely on some quotes from NetsDaily, which suggests that, over a half hour, nearly all the questions were about the Barclays Center arena.

(Remember, when asked recently by the Commercial Observer about the timetable for other buildings, Ratner snapped, "We’re here to talk about the arena.”)

Ratner called the arena "one of the most important civic buildings built in the city," a very generous use of the word civic ("of or relating to a citizen, a city, citizenship, or community affairs").

He called it "the most important arena built in the last half century in this country"--perhaps, though that "important arena" can't be separated from significant trade-offs, like its impact on a residential neighborhoods.

Like Conseco, but updated

Ratner asserted:

Basketball people will love it. First of all, it's built for basketball. It's much like inside the Conseco Center [in Indianapolis]. Very good sightlines. We studied 16 different arenas to get the best sightlines. It will be very tight, exciting, noisy. It's going to have all the latest technology and amenities. So when you're there, you're going to feel you're right in the action.

It's much like the Conseco Fieldhouse (now BankersLife Fieldhouse) because it was modeled on Conseco. Then, after that leaked design was slammed by New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff, Ratner hired SHoP to put a new skin on the building, thus earning some praise from the critic.

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Posted by eric at March 10, 2012 11:38 PM