Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Worst possible outcome for Atlantic Yards

Despite the skepticism and abuse of some of my friends, I'd been a fan of Atlantic Yards. It was easy to acknowledge some of the potential problems cited by opponents, but the long-term potential -- nearly certain -- benefits of an architectural/cultural icon seems undeniable. There are so many examples of a transformative architectural development becoming a vanguard of positive economic and cultural change. Now we have the official announcement of Gehry abandoning the project and of the project going to Ellerbe Becket. All the potential urban congestion issues with none of the compensations of great architecture. Atlantic Yards will now join the less than mediocre Atlantic Terminal/Atlantic Center and the single story big box windowless stores across Flatbush. The city dynamics, the opponents, and the developers seem to have conspired for the worst possible outcome. And, by the way, a real setback for the adjacent Brooklyn Cultural District. Here is Ouroussoff's take on it.