Showing posts from March 13, 2006

Books and Buildings (includes Chronicle: Loss of a Local Landmark, and Reviews: #13 & #14)

I was surprised, perhaps foolishly, by this article in the Times the other day about the commencement of the destruction of the Underberg Building. Abandoned and already crumbling on Flatbush Avenue, the building stands in the way of a proposed (and highly controversial) sports stadium and mall complex under the auspices of the sinister-sounding Forest City Ratner. I'm a little torn myself about the Ratner complex. The theory is that it will bring jobs and more affordable housing to Brooklyn, which is hard to argue with. But it's also sort of a corporate monolith, and it seems as though it will make the neighborhood a lot less neighborhoody. The ALP and I walk past the Underberg on jaunts to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the irresistible temptations of the Brooklyn Target, or the Atlantic Avenue subway station. I've always been charmed by the combination of odd green paint and the brick that shows through where it's peeled and faded, and the old-fashioned lettering ste