Friday, May 16, 2008

The 'Secret History' of the Big Blank Wall at 345 Adams Street

There's been a lot of news lately about 345 Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Brownstoner says that now that Muss Development owns "the disgustingly ugly city-owned office's" first two floors, (adjacent to the Marriott and the planned Morton's Steakhouse) the company intends to make it beautiful and rent as retail space -- perhaps to Apple or another quality retailer.

See that Big Blank Wall extending all the way to Willoughby Street? Makes you wonder what the original architect was thinking, doesn't it?

According to Brownstoner, Muss will carve windows into the first two floors. And according to the Brooklyn Eagle, the structural arches already exist on the inside for those windows. Makes it seem even odder that the builders would go to all the trouble to cover up preexisting arches with a Big Blank Wall (BBW).

If you look closely at the BBW, you see an odd trough running quite a distance along its base. A few little pipes stick up from the concrete and sometimes people throw soda cans into the trough, but otherwise -- zilch.

But there may be more to the BBW than meets the eye.

This is what an old-timer told McBrooklyn: 345 Adams Street was not always "disgustingly ugly." The Big Blank Wall used to be a waterfall fountain. The water cascaded from the top of the BBW to the trough on the ground.

The old-timer said the BBW was beautiful -- back in the day. If true (and we have no confirmation yet but if you know any old-timers who can confirm this, let us know), this makes us look at the wall with new eyes.

We always sort of hoped that one day someone would turn the waterfall back on. It'd send a cooling breeze over the people sitting at the benches and tables scattered nearby.

Now that the waterfall is headed down the drain (heh), we got to wondering what it once looked like. We searched all over the Internet for photos of the waterfall in action, but ran up against a blank wall (heh heh).

Since we couldn't find any photos of the BBW's glorious past, we decided to imagine it (come on, squint your eyes a little and listen for the peaceful sound of cascading water):

Now imagine the fenced-in area filled with trees and flowers, and a re-landscaped outdoor eating area with wi-fi.

Hey, not bad!

- 345 Adams Street, Downtown Brooklyn
- Red Blooded Downtown Brooklynites to Dine on Barely-Cooked Steak at 'Morton's The Steakhouse' -- and Apple (Or Maybe Barneys) Might Move In Next Door
- Apple Store in Brooklyn -- A Recommendation

Photos and artwork by MK Metz.


Anonymous said...

Great Post! Your blog keeps getting better and better.

Katia said...

The waterfall would be such an improvement.
I agree, great post!

mcbrooklyn said...

Thanks guys.