Michael Kimmelman’s “An Arena as Tough as Brooklyn. But Street Smart?” discusses the arrival of the glorious Barclay’s Center and its impact on Brooklyn. He says, “At first blush it’s a shocker, which is one of its virtues.” He goes on to describe the stadium as a piece of art and explains how things can get a bit “tricky” because of the venue’s location in Brooklyn.
In the heart of Brooklyn, in Fort Greene, about a mile from the Brooklyn Bridge, there stands a magnificent fortress of an arena. Its exterior is reddish brown, consisting of 12,000 grainy weathered steel panels. Each panel is a little different using computer modeling. This gives a hardcore industrial look to it. The building has openings here and there for slivers of windows that people can look through to the inside. In the front of the building, there is a huge open roof canopy with a loop of 85 feet. On the inside of the loop, there is an electric billboard that displays the inside of the arena and the scoreboard. The fact that the arena is street level, gives a good vibe to neighbors, who are glad to not see a skyscraper in the middle of Brooklyn.
The area of the massive structure is about 675,000 square feet. It can seat a whopping number of around 19,000 people. The rows of seats are steeply stacked, so everyone gets a great view. The crowd circulation is very good and everyone that responded said that the staff is very friendly. You even get free WIFI while you’re there! The restaurants inside the stadium are all Brooklyn established, such as Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs and Brooklyn Cupcakes. The people of Brooklyn were very happy about this because it gave a nice Brooklyn feel to it.
There is a plethora of events that go on inside this gigantic stadium. From rock concerts and rap concerts to basketball games and hockey games. They are also hoping to host tennis games in the near future. One of the main reasons that this stadium was built was to house the Brooklyn Nets. Perhaps this is a means to increase revenue for the team, because it is proven that New York City affiliated teams make the most revenue.
The location of this operation was a total work of genius. It is easily accessible by public transportation including eleven bus lines and eleven subway lines. Barclay’s Center promotes everyone to take advantage of its accessibility and go to the events.
People, especially architects say that the Barclay’s center is an “anti-Manhattan monument”. By this they mean that this structure is different of Manhattan and its glass or titanium buildings. It is “tougher and stronger” just like the borough it is in. Also the unevenly colored panels are similar to Brooklyn’s brownstone buildings.
Now there are some questions that must be asked. Will the Brooklyn Nets have a better season now that they’re in New York City? How will this newfound gem be beneficial to the people of Brooklyn? Do you think introducing Brooklyn to more urban buildings such as the Barclay’s Center will make it more like Manhattan? Is this a way of “cleaning up” some of the bad parts of Brooklyn?