Friday, May 25, 2007

A Scarano Building At Smith and 2nd Place?

Photo illustration borrowed from Curbed.

At the Carroll Garden Neighborhood Association (CGNA) meeting on May 14th, someone announced that a building was proposed to straddle the Carroll Street subway entrance at Smith and 2nd Place. Ominous statements were made that the developer was seeking a building out of scale with the height of surrounding structures, and worse, sought to build over the public space in front of the subway entrance. Even more ominously, the architect was none other than Scarano, of Gowanus Thumb and Gowanus Bunker infamy. An architect who is synonymous with abuse of self-certification.

The fenced parking lot behind the subway entrance is of course, perfect for residential development. And the proposed design for the site is perfectly awful. In a perfect world, a limestone and brick building with a concave, curving base and an improved plaza out front would be proposed for the site, with some ground floor retail (at least, space for the news stand) and a bicycle rack. I'd settle for a design that preserves the open plaza and fits in the scale and character of the neighborhood.

I expect neighborhood opposition to the current design to be high, and I don't think it has a prayer of an approval in its current form. Contact Community Board 6 and let them know what you think of this naked grab for the Carroll Street subway plaza.

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