20 September 2011

Alchemy Doesn't Want You to See

Every time I pass the blue plywood that surrounds the block of Court between Union and Sackett Streets in Carroll Gardens, my son says, "Dad, I miss the hospital that was here."

I do too, kid. But the Clarett Group got their way back in 2008, bypassing community wishes and input, and tore down the old International Longshoreman's Association so the could erect a big black, 84-foot-tall mausoleum they pompously called "The Collection." Then, the economy bottomed out, and Carroll Gardens was left with a big, block-long hole of dirt, eventually overgrown with weeds.

Since then, Clarett, showing the utter disregard they've always held for the neighborhood, pulled out. Recently, reports PMFA, the site was acquired by Alchemy Properties, a development, marketing and consulting firm. Apparently, they don't like unions, because a big inflatable rat appeared outside the site earlier this month.

Anyway, construction is continuing, and the monstrous and monstrously out-of-place steel frame is falling into place. Saw a crane about eight stories tall working the joint the other day.

In a comical side show, Alchemy had covered over with blue-pained wood the plexiglass windows that Clarett installed in the plywood wall to show the public their utter transparency.


Little Earthquake said...

Hospital? You mean that ugly, 1960s-vintage bureaucratic block of bricks that used to sit there? That place looked like a DMV in the midwest. There are far more charming buildings to mourn.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

The building had its admirers, even among the architectural community. But, the point is, as I have often pointed out over the year, not just what's being torn down, but what's being built in its place. Will the Collection be an improvement over the hospital? Answer: No.

Little Earthquake said...

I agree with you there. Another cheap and nondescript pile of bricks and glass. I don't understand why, in an age when we can prefabricate anything, we still erect unimaginative junk with no detailing.