Sunday, May 1, 2011

360 Smith: Almost There

I can barely stand the wait any longer.  It's been what, 18, 19 months since we lost our primary access point to the Carroll Street subway station?
The plaza work is complete.  I'm pretty pleased with the aesthetics of the renovated plaza space, especially happy that we succeeded in preserving the mature plaza trees.

The Smith Street exposure has received a couple of new street trees as well as all new sidewalk.
I'm wondering what will occupy the new commercial space on the corner.  I like the Subway Entrance 24 hour globe lamp on the left, positioned out toward the edge of the sidewalk to maximize visibility down 2nd Place.

We fought a long hard battle to reduce the height of the building.  We ultimately won the fight for contextual zoning for all of Carroll Gardens . . . but lost the battle on 360 Smith.  The BSA granted the original developer a variance.
So, 360 Smith ended up bigger than we would have liked.  But the Plaza space and mature trees were largely preserved, and the ugly fence and surface parking area has been replaced with a new planted courtyard on 2nd Place.  I dare say that the street level experience on this corner will be a great improvement over what was there previously - and not just because of the new plaza treatments and courtyard plantings.  Add in the new street trees on either side of Smith Street and the Transit Garden across 2nd Place and this intersection will have gone from a relatively barren area to one of the greenest spots in the 'hood.  It's going to take a while for all those trees to grow up, but the end product is going to be a much improved crossroads.

Bonus shot: new street plantings courtesy of Parks in front of Frank's, where you can get a heart-stoppingly delicious stack of pancakes any day of the week.  Since I took the pictures I noticed someone has added some flowers to the tree beds.  Nice touch.