NYU moving into New York City Transit headquarters

Track changes! College walks back its shimmery vision for D’town building

The Brooklyn Paper
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Everything that glitters is not silicon.

New York University is taking over the city-owned former New York City Transit Authority headquarters that has stood mostly vacant above the Jay Street–MetroTech subway station for two decades. The school and the city announced the move back in 2012, including in the promotional material a flashy rendering of the building overhauled to look like a crystal fortress. A June 26 announcement came with further details on who is moving into the building, but also a new mock-up that showed none of the glass-and-steel glitz of the previous one. A spokesman for the college said the original, rolled out to great fanfare in partnership with Mayor Bloomberg, was never meant to be taken seriously.

“The rendering released in 2012 was aspirational, but it wasn’t a plan,” said Philip Lentz, director of public affairs for New York University. “Today, we have a plan that lays out what the building will look like and how it will be used when the renovations are completed in 2017.”

The new design calls for restoring the current limestone-and-steel facade, and install new windows, plumbing, and electrical systems, according to the school. The renovations are meant to make the structure a hub for hands-on technology, a school spokeswoman.

“Applied science, technology, and engineering are among our fastest growing academic areas and the new 370 Jay St. — in the heart of a thriving tech corridor — will be an environment conducive to inspiration and innovation in those fields,” said Lynne Brown, a spokeswoman for the university.

The restored building will house the university’s Center for Urban Science and Progress, the engineering school’s tech business incubators, and classrooms for various programs, according to a school statement. The ground floor of the building will be converted into retail space, the school said.

The 14-story building on Jay Street between Willoughby and Johnson streets served as the transit agency’s headquarters from 1951, when it was built, until 1990. The agency continued to maintain operations in the structure, including its cash-handling facilities, until 2006, but it has sat mostly empty since then.

University officials said they hope to start construction next year and be finished by 2017.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260-8310. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018: Context and clarity added.
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from runined Brooklyn says:
Oh dear god the updated building still has the scaffolding in place! Don't you think 25 years of scaffolding is enough? Ugliest building in Brooklyn by far and I am counting the crap along 4th Avenue
June 27, 2014, 5:04 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
For the first time, I agree with SwampYankee. Too much scaffolding.
June 27, 2014, 7:35 am
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
What no luxury apartments? I'm shocked!
June 27, 2014, 11:08 am
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
Just tear it down, and build something pretty and nice with rainbows on it.
June 27, 2014, 12:12 pm
Dan from Gowanus says:
Look again. No scaffolding. That's limestone and steel. Just click on the picture to expand it, if it's not too much trouble...
June 27, 2014, 4:49 pm
Don'e even bother from Downtown says:
What a massive letdown. "Was never meant to be taken seriously"?? What a joke! I was most excited about this building being redone like in the original plans. Now their plan is to make it look exactly the same as it already does! What an ugly building. Thought the re-design was going to revitalize this whole corner. What garbage.
June 27, 2014, 5:52 pm
judahspechal from bedstuy says:
better plan than demo plan
June 28, 2014, 12:50 am
Architectural Critic from Brooklyn says:
Better than this bait ( and switch (
June 28, 2014, 12:14 pm
Me from Bay Ridge says:
""After" design is nothing special but the "before" design is ugly!
June 30, 2014, 8:13 pm

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