Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Anxiously Awaiting The Carroll Street Station Grand Entrance Re-Opening

With a title like that, this post will probably disappoint:  I don't have the answer yet on when the 2nd Place entrance will be thrown open for the community.  The construction has seemed to last forever, but there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel.  And yesterday, an opening in the construction fence.
I took a closer look and snapped a couple shots of the once and future entranceway.  Note the steel beam above the entrance which presumably will support the entrance signage.
On closer inspection, it looks like the entranceway will be partly glass on the Smith Street side, providing a little extra visibility into the entryway when the commercial space is open.

Finally, I took a longer shot from the stoop of the derelict property across the street.
This was a hard-fought and amazingly long battle.  Despite the contextual re-zoning and a valiant effort by the community the developers were granted a variance by the Board of Standards and Appeals to build to the full extent of the old zoning law.  It's hard not to be bitter about an outcome that, in my opinion, was unsupported by the facts or the law.  But it's more productive (and healthier) to look on the bright side, since we can no longer change the outcome.  The mature trees on 2nd Place survived.  The original "Heavy Metal" Scarano facade was scrapped (graphic originally from Curbed).

The Quadrini design certainly isn't perfect, but it's a measured improvement over that.

Lastly, the old gravel parking lot which encroached on a substantial portion of the block's courtyards and was, frankly, a blight on the corner, is gone.  The 24-hour residential presence over the subway entrance will improve security in the late night hours.  And it won't be long before the construction fences will be down, the subway entrance re-opened, and the next battle for neighborhood preservation is joined.

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