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G train safari explores changing borough • Brooklyn Paper

G train safari explores changing borough

Scenic subway route: Architect John Hill is taking straphangers on a G train-centric tour of striking new buildings.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

The “G” on this train stands for gentrify.

A renowned architect is giving a G train-centric tour of cutting-edge and controversial new buildings, offering viewers a nuanced glimpse at the way Brooklyn is changing.

The riding-and-walking tour features more than 20 structures near the line’s stations and are hosted by John Hill, author of “Guide to Contemporary New York City Architecture.”

“It’s a great way to get out on foot and see the city — and some of the borough’s most striking buildings,” Hill said.

The tour offers fun facts, architectural insights and stories behind structures such as the Barclays Center, the Pratt Institute buildings, and Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel.

Hill said he planned the tour around the high-profile G train — which was recently at risk of losing a five-stop extension linking north and brownstone Brooklyns — because many of his favorite modern architecture sites are located along the line.

Tour-goers will meet at the Hoyt–Schermerhorn station, ride north then walk to sites, including sleek modern townhouses and a residential building made of shipping crates.

Hill said he chose to showcase Barclays Center, in part because of its rusty looking exterior, public plaza, and “ahead-of-the-curve” design.

And while the metrocard trip isn’t quite like the architecture tours of other cities, like the famed Chicago boat tour or the quaint cable-car rides of San Francisco, Hill, who guided a similar tour along the High Line (in that other borough), said he’d make it worth shelling out $35 to see sites that are normally free in order to learn about some of the city’s most fascinating neighborhoods.

“Brooklyn is such a magnet for culture — and this is a way to see more of it,” he said.

G train tour [160 Schermerhorn St. at Hoyt Street in Downtown, (212) 601– 1000] Aug. 11. $35.

Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at noneill@cnglocal.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.

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