Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Miss Brooklyn

I wish the NYT hadn't buried the following criticisms in their front page story yesterday about Ratner slightly scaling back the Atlantic Yards project (today they ran a story about why nobody was very impressed with the big news, though they didn't get any more quotes from organized opponents). "Miss Brooklyn," of course, is the absurd name of the behemoth centerpiece designed by Frank Gehry.

“I don’t think the bottom-line community concern is really about aesthetics, which is what shaving a few stories off the heights of the buildings is about,” said James F. Brennan, a Brooklyn assemblyman. “I don’t think this flies.”

Daniel Goldstein, a spokesman for Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn, added, “They could chop Miss Brooklyn in half in terms of the height and that won’t change our position.” Mr. Goldstein’s group opposes the arena, the project’s density and the state’s use of eminent domain to acquire some of the property.
Or as Gatemouth wrote here two months ago,

Isn't the design really a sideshow to the real issues? I mean,

1) Would even an inspiring design that would be a magnet unto the world and bring tears to one's eyes change anyone's position on the project? Would it justify the use of eminent domain as it now would be performing a public good?

2) If dislking the design is a good reason for opposing the project, wouldn't liking the design be a good reason for supporting it?
The problem with Miss Brooklyn is not that she's a scary giant.

The problem is that she behaves like the Borg Queen.


  • At 2:45 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    And as I said to Gate on that very comment thread:

    Gate: I don't believe design is a sideshow to the real issues, if you take a broader view of design. What is wanted (what many, many people have said they want, anyway) is a project that harmonizes with existing Brooklyn on every level, not one that would be an attractive masterpiece of architecture and a light unto the world. Thinking that the latter should be the goal of design is a very modernist perspective, and Frank Gehry, the egomaniac, is a modernist to the core.

    A well-designed development would be built on actually unused land (such as the Yards themselves) not on top of people's homes nearby. It would take into account the neighborhood character of Brooklyn as well as the technical limitations of traffic and sewage. You may see these as separate from design. I don't. So yes, I would support a well-designed project. (From what you've written before, I suspect you feel somewhat similar.) It's just that to me, that's not the same as one that would look pretty on virgin land in the middle of nowhere.


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