Brooklyn Broadside: Enthusiasm for Barclays Center
By Dennis Holt
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BROOKLYN — It stands to reason that Forest City Ratner and all those associated with the Barclays Center Arena would be promoting the development — after all, there are tickets and luxury boxes to sell for many events.
Accordingly, there have been many stories in the media about the project with most of them being quite laudatory. The latest was in Friday’s Daily News in a column written by Jason Sheftell.
Two-thirds of the first page of the story carried a rendering of the arena and the first of the residential buildings to be built. There was also a picture of developer Bruce Ratner in a hard hat. Any question of what kind of story was to follow was answered by the headline: “Worth the Wait: Inside and Out, Barclay’s Center will Change Brooklyn Forever.”
That Sheftell was impressed can be gleaned by this statement: “I guarantee that the first time anyone sets foot near or inside this building they will get goosebumps.” Goosebumps from a sports arena? I wonder if the same could have been said about the original design by Frank Gehry?
Developer Ratner was effusive too. “This is the first truly 21st-century building in New York City. The technology used to build this was so innovative. This building has an edge. I think digital arts will eventually do for Brooklyn what financial services did for Manhattan. This building will be an emblem for that.” WOW!
Another wow came from Gregg Pasquarelli, a partner in the architectural firm, SHoP: “It’s going to be an urban technological masterpiece, but it’s going to be really cool to walk around this place.”
Ratner talked about wanting a grand entrance to the arena and reporter Sheftell says they got it. “Ratner and SHoP achieved that goal. Entering will feel like moving into a great civic space, like Grand Central Station or the Metropolitan Museum of Art, only built for and of this time.”
Finally Ratner tried to give some perspective to the arena for Brooklyn, but I doubt his detractors would agree.
“Cities need to grow around transportation. Brooklyn has a history of great culture. The arena brings every single aspect of that culture into one place. It’s competition, entertainment for children, music, food and persistence. For 100 years this was a train depot in the middle of Downtown Brooklyn. Now, it’s the greatest arena I’ve ever seen.”
Now, if only the Nets rise to match their magnificent new surroundings.
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