Open Thread Wednesday

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  • CassieVonMontague

    Wonderful story about a resident centenarian:

    https://brooklyneagle.com/articles/2019/04/02/florence-bass-turns-105-and-gets-her-own-holiday/

    Also learn about the history of Cadman Towers. Sounds like a great community to live in:

    http://www.cadmantowers1.com/cadman-history

  • CassieVonMontague

    Slate wrote about a trend I’ve noticed in our neighborhood. Old buildings are housing fewer people. I wonder what this trend will mean for our neighborhood.

    https://slate.com/business/2019/04/old-buildings-house-fewer-people-than-they-did-50-years-ago-what-happened.html

  • Jorale-man

    The Daily News has a piece on another new BQE proposal from Bjarke Ingels Group. It appears similar to another plan that puts the highway at ground level and covers it with new parkland:
    https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/ny-bqe-town-hall-meeting-proposals-20190403-gqeynwvzjvf7ngk5ulxmw54cau-story.html
    Also: https://big.dk/#projects-bqp

  • Banet

    This looks incredible and likely it would cost so much less than what the DOT put forth that some of the savings could go towards actually building the park on top of it. While I can sort of imagine how they make it work at the north end pinch point, it’s not really clear to me what they would do in front of 360 Furman St.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Thanks for this very thought-provoking article and “phenomenon.” I’m tempted to say that the numbers make this all but inconsequential – by which I mean this decade (up to 2020) will mark an increase in living units in 11201 probably higher than any in our 200 year history. Of course, you can argue that 11201 takes in a lot more than “Brooklyn Heights proper” (and you’d be technically right, I think), but your question went to “IMPACT,” and I think there’s even more danger to focus on 20 or fewer blocks “in the Central Heights” too myopically.

    Bigger questions – “diversity” – by class, color, age?? What’s the “price” for the Heights becoming ever less diverse – especially now? And yes, evaporation of rental units IS connected clearly, … but small-going-to-very-small is hardly a game-changer. Compare anything recent in the Heights to the number of rentals-becoming-co-ops between 1950 and 2000!

    Last, I think there are some offsetting projects – there’s a building on Monroe, I think, that housed one charming man, and his passing DID have the effect of putting extra doorbells in play. Similarly, if Brooklyn Law has taken a few hundred units OFF the market, the JW exodus will more than make up for that. TRUE, pricing is worlds different, but those forces rival gravity in terms of immutability.

  • AEB

    Of interest–well, to me, at least. Perhaps to you too:

    http://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2019/03/gay-history-brooklyn.html

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Their 48-slide presentation is breathtakingly beautiful. It takes “Mark Baker’s idea” and fleshes it out. True, they do NOT address the minutiae of implementation – I don’t minimize things like NOT jeopardizing subway and sewage tunnels – but they would clearly need co-operation from the DOT, which while never easy must border on impossible for a Denmark-based firm at a time when the DOT is probably overwhelmed by this project, especially after Polly and friends presented a perfect pinata of a proposal.

    This alternative is – in a good way – a “kitchen sink” of a proposal, with several key variants and variations spelled out. They pencil in options for parking, housing … and include a BQX “spur” as a possibility.

    All this … and almost-for-sure – at a lower cost and closer-in finish date than the DOT plan.

    My big fear?: This makes diBlasio and the DOT look SO very bad that they might go “all in” on “not invented here,” disguised (of course) as “They don’t know the first thing about how things work in NYC.”

    REALLY, if you have 5 minutes, go through the slide deck – no way will they get a chance to present this as it should be presented TONIGHT. It is to urban planning what Yo Yo Ma is to music.

  • Jorale-man

    Good points. The Daily News article states that the firm is based in NY and has worked on the flooding mitigation plan for lower Manhattan – so presumably they have some cred with city officials. But yes, it’s good to approach all of this with a bit of wait-and-see attitude.

  • A Neighbor

    BillyD just woke up and appointed an outside panel – including academics, engineers, and public interest reps – to evaluate the BQE plans.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Bjarke Ingels Group has an office in DUMBO and Bjarke Ingels, himself, has a penthouse in DUMBO so I can understand why he would throw his hat into the ring.

  • Banet

    No need to worry about the sewage or subway tunnels. Look closely — the entire BQE is above ground. It runs where Furman Street is.

  • Pierhouse Dad

    All I can say is wow. This is what a real, innovative plan looks like. It is a win, win for the park, BH, residents of Fulton Ferry and Furman Street and the city as a whole. It is a plan all can get behind!!

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Aye, but the plans make clear that they will be tunneling – at least that’s my take.
    Sorry, I mistook the company name and URL and all for an entity more alien than others know it to be.
    Among other things, we have to hope that Scott Stringer isn’t as much of a showboat as he’s reputed to be … and that the 2 “most connected to the Heights electeds” NOT “advertised” as attending tonight’s meeting won’t cave … “for any reason or for no reason.”

  • redlola

    they addressed it at the town hall this evening

  • Bk hts reident

    Does anyone else have concerns that the ‘blue ribbon panel’ is an attempt to create the impression of thoughtful consideration while still cramming the highway down our throats?

    I didn’t see anyone on the panel who I would consider an actual representative of our community.

    Additionally the panel is supposed to do all its work in something like 2 months if I recall- these folks already have full time jobs so what will they actually spend on this- 20-40 hours tops? It’s hard to imagine they get real good solutions with that short time frame.

    Given this I’m suspicious this is an attempt to put window dressing on a solution they’ve already decided.

    I hope I’m wrong…anyone have any insight here?

  • Reggie

    I had exactly the opposite reaction. The panel gives DOT a face-saving way to change its plans.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    The DOT plan is toast … because there’s more than enough “sunlight” to prevent a destructive, backward-looking, more expensive plan from “winning” over one with all those and several other enormous advantages and benefits to the City as a whole. We’ll have to hope that the 2 or 3 academics help the group as a whole THINK CLEARLY.

    Really, while deBlasio and Cuomo are both control freaks, neither of them is stupid. The DOT proposal is in a charmed circle with NYCHA – something going way past incompetence. 6 lanes of traffic running where the promenade now is would have had health liabilities akin to lead paint “in the projects.”

    The Mayor is like Trump – too busy preparing for political events to do the job he was elected to do. Some Deputy Mayor gave him bad advice.

    Bill must have told Polly, “EVEN MORE people will come out to ‘defend’ BBP, so rule out anything that’s disruptive ‘down there!'”

    For BIG to have come up with a win-win in this connection is “Christmas coming 8 1/2 months early!”

  • StoptheChop

    Except for OBBP, since the highway would run right through the building lobby (the plan anticipates seizing the lobby, parking spaces and apartments directly above it by eminent domain.)

  • Andrew Porter

    This is the history of 101 Clark Street, and of the building at 10 Clinton Street. The block was empty and full of rubble when I moved here.

    The original plans for the building were very different: a shorter, rectangular building with numerous balconies, no setbacks. I believe the original plans are still on the Columbia University site.

  • Andrew Porter

    Courtesy the Municipal Archives, here’s my very last image of the Heights in 1940. This is 124 Montague. You can see the shadow of an older, taller building on the wall next door:
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2ec9f9ec39540f76d41f651666556601cf952cc00621d825dd392a472a37bed8.png

  • Banet

    This was a fascinating read. Thanks so much. Good to know ho-hum Teresa’s (80 Montague) once led a MUCH more colorful life. :-)

  • Banet

    This is not accurate. Go read the comments on the post dedicated to the meeting.

  • Michael Rock

    Anybody know the purpose of the tall scaffolding on top of the St. George Tower?

  • brooklynbull

    A lovely, lovely story –

  • Cranberry Beret

    Since it’s orange, I’m assuming it’s the kind of temporary structure someone builds when they’re trying to demonstrate to the Landmarks commission what a proposed, visible addition will look like.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7nPOzGeyaw Arch Stanton

    The Heights had at least a half dozen Gay centric bars in the 70’s but the scene petered out by the mid 80’s.