Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hotelier feels lucky about destruction of Abolitionist homes

The Brooklyn Eagle published an article about a panel on hotels in Brooklyn, and its description differs significantly from an article on the same event in Brownstoner. The Eagle's article, "Hotel Development in Brooklyn: Why Hasn’t It Happened Sooner?" starts out with brightly optimistic quotes:

“Brooklyn is ripe for a luxury hotel,” said one panelist.

“Travelers are ready to see a different part of the city,” said another.

Brownstoner's article, by contrast, was titled "Brooklyn Hotel Buzz: Boom and Doom."

The Eagle did report on the destruction of parking associated with the City's plan for Downtown Brooklyn. As the article states:
The Parking IssueDuring a Q&A session, concerns about parking and the loss of some major parking lots were expressed....

With the Sheraton/Aloft, “we are lucky that the city is building an 800-car underground garage across the street [at Washington Square Park]. We see that as an ideal situation,” he said.

Very lucky indeed! Too bad the City's plans have led to decreasing parking– you might think that if the City hadn't encouraged the elimination of other parking lots that it wouldn't need eminent domain to build new parking... but I guess nobody raised that question.

(The Sheraton/Aloft hotels are rising across the street from the Abolitionist homes on Duffield, and "Washington Square Park" looks like an incorrect referrence to Willoughby Sqaure Park, the 1.15 acre grassy knoll that would sit on top of the site of the Abolitionist homes.)

Ironies abound in the Eagle article. For instance its says:
Gene Kaufman of Gene Kaufman Architects, who designed the combined Sheraton (with 325 rooms) and Aloft (175 rooms) on Duffield Street in Downtown Brooklyn. He believes travelers, especially foreign travelers are ready to see a different part of the city, are looking for a variation on their New York experience.
(emphasis added)

One might think the Duffield residents' plan for an Abolitionist museum would be a more attractive "variation" than the City's proposal of an underground parking lot.