Two really neat features on the n+1 website right now for all you architecture and urban planning geeks…
At the northern edge of the District sits the construction site of Atlantic Yards. Infamously, the twenty-two acres of land were in part purchased by Forest City Ratner (FCR) and in part handed over by the state of New York through the exercise of eminent domain. Announced in 2003, Atlantic Yards was initially to contain a Frank Gehry–designed complex of residential towers and an arena for the Brooklyn (née New Jersey) Nets. Since then, largely economic troubles have led to a cost-conscious redesign — Gehry’s out, prefab’s in — and a de facto extension of the completion schedule from ten to twenty-five years.
Efforts to designate the Prospect Heights Historic District began in 2006 and came to fruition in the summer of 2009. The Yards, in some sense, created the District.
2. THE OTHER MODERNISM about the Brutalistic style that has become the red-headed stepchild of the Modernism movement in the 50’s and 60’s.
These days, when architecture is supposed to be either pleasant or slick, it can be startling to remember that for a brief, brilliant moment, the reigning style, particularly for civic buildings, was something called Brutalism. It’s worth considering what we’ve gained and lost since that moment, especially with the passing away, reported at the end of June, of Gerhard Kallmann, one of the authors of Boston City Hall (1968), which represented perhaps the apex of that style in the United States.