Public Service or Propaganda?

From the BHB Inbox comes photos of a “diorama” from Two Trees promoting its Dock Street DUMBO project in the window of The Brooklyn Eagle’s headquarters at 30 Henry Street.   Is this a sign that the Eagle is “in the tank” for the Walentas or is it an old media version of a “guest post” on a blog? [Update: The Eagle addresses this question on its website. The paper says it is not being compensated for the display and is asking its readers for feedback on the project.]

Accompanying the display of what DUMBO would look like should the project go through is a letter from Jed Walentas:

Dear Neighbors,

As you may know Two Trees Management has proposed a mixed use development on Dock Street in DUMBO that will bring to the community a desperately needed new middle school, affordable housing and a green building with neighborhood oriented retail and parking for the park. Since there has been a lot of discussion in the neighborhood about this project – some of it accurate, but unfortunately much of it misinformed – we wanted you to have the opportunity to see first hand from this model just how contextual this building is within the DUMBO neighborhood. As the Kean of the Pratt School of Architecture sad, Dock Street DUMBO “fits extemely well” and “is very respectful of the Brooklyn Bridge.”

More information renderings and an animation of the project can be found on our website Thank you for your interest in this exciting project.


Jed Walentas

P.S. This model was originally constructed for another planning meeting several years aga and therfore includes a few details – such as a proposed [illegible in photo] marina – that never came to fruition. Please note however that Dock Street DUMBO building, the surrounding comuunity and nearby structures are all accurate in form and built to scale.

“Propaganda Department” observes  in this week’s OTW:

Anyone check out the store front diorama/model/propaganda that appeared near the corner of Middagh and Henry in the Daily Eagle building?

I was wondering why after many years the Daily Eagle took down the two way mirrors that I used to admire myself in everytime I passed.

Tonight we all learn why: Mr. Jed Walentas, scion of DUMBO daddy fame is trying to pursuade the good people of Brooklyn Heights of the righteousness of his cause to obscure a magnificent view of the world famous and hometown precious Brooklyn Bridge.

And of course all of us from this blog know of his carrot to the community of offering space for a public middle school.

For those who either are so uncool that they don’t read this blog, or haven’t yet hear the developer’s side of the controversy, it’s all there for your Xmas window shopping pleasure as you pass Noodle Pudding. A small scale model showing the proposed Dock Street bohemoth looking harmless and unassuming.

Of course, the other side of the story can be plainly seen in less favorable renderings on this site:

If your name is Gunther, please don’t sign the petiton.

I took some photos tonight with my CrackBerry and will email them to Homer to post if he sees fit. Let the shouting and talking past each other re-commence!

Community Board 2 will hold a hearing on the project on Wednesday, December 17th at 6:00 p.m. at the Long Island University Health Sciences Center, Room 107.

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  • Kal11201

    So to recap: A bunch of yuppies got a bargain on some real estate, and moved into a cheap neighborhood. And watched their investment skyrocket. They had (or brought) their kids, but there’s a problem: the neighborhood didn’t have any schools. Now, after ruining the neighborhood’s artistic community, they want to ruin the views for the sake of building a school for their kids? Have I got this right?

    And ruining the views is the only possible solution?

  • Facts

    This page has the most detailed and cogent argument against the Dock St. project that I’ve come across:

  • No One Of Consequence

    What about the NY Times? They’re doing the piece on Montague Key Food. Certainly this is another story they’d be interested in. Does anyone have a contact? Public disapproval is going to have to come from a larger constituency than us little folk here in BH and DUMBO.

  • T.K. Small

    Independent of the pro & con considerations of where to build the school, I think Homer needs to be applauded for providing a platform which has produced such a substantive interchange. This is an important example of the passions that people hold concerning the Brooklyn Heights community. (Incidentally, this message was not paid for by Homer)

  • Daddy Mack

    I have heard that Walentas owns the building where the Eagle is located. Can someone please tell me if that is true?

  • No One Of Consequence

    I was watching some movie (I think it was Sweeny Todd) the other night which had an opening scene shot of the Tower Bridge in London and it made me think of how iconic it is and how when you see it you know the where the locale is.

    Obviously, the same can be said of the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Just more to the argument that anything built that competes with the views of and from bridge will forever mar its character.

    I looked at the comparative graphic on dumbonyc (above) and I don’t think that the existing structures are any excuse to build another. What’s done is done is no reason to do it again.


    We must not let these people deface one of our last great American landmarks purely for greed.
    Does anyone realize that there are maybe 5 kids of age to go to Jr. High actually in Dumbo… What a selfish joke.


    The proposed building would grossly mar New York’s historic Brooklyn Bridge viewscape.