It may not be as swanky as the annual BHA House Tour, but hundreds of locals attended an open house Saturday at the Brooklyn Detention Center, located within a whisper of Brooklyn Heights at 275 Atlantic Avenue off Smith Street in Boerum Hill.
The event, where carrot cake and coffee were served, is part of a city PR campaign to stave off fears about the jail’s reopening this week, after being shuttered in 2003 because of budget cuts. It is destined to replace older jail buildings at Rikers Island that may be phased out. In all, the facility will house 759 inmates for an average of 57 days before standing trial in Brooklyn and Staten Island. No convicted felons are based at the Detention Center.
Over the last six years, six high-rise apartment buildings, such upscale stores as Barney’s Co-op and Trader Joe’s and a boutique hotel have opened in the vicinity, but the city assures local residents that neighbors won’t interact with inmates, thanks to an underground tunnel that connects the jailhouse to the courts. Then again, BDC sounds like a pretty lovely destination: The 10-story building offers a rooftop with a view where prisoners can play tennis and handball during their one hour of outside recreation each day.