‘State’ of security at Atlantic Yards? ESDC won’t tell us

‘State’ of security at Atlantic Yards? ESDC won’t tell us

Everyone’s been talking about the drastic security measures at the new $106-million Long Island Rail Road Terminal on Flatbush Avenue — but state officials still won’t talk about whether a similar security blanket will envelop the proposed Barclays Center across the street.

Current renderings of Bruce Ratner’s basketball arena near the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues show a line of thin, metal, waist-high security bollards — quite unlike the massive tomb-like blocks that wall off the entrance to the new LIRR terminal.

Much smaller, bench-like bollards were in earlier renderings of the terminal, but were dramatically enlarged after secret discussions among the LIRR, its architect and the NYPD, officials confirmed.

The new Long Island Rail Road terminal on Flatbush Avenue is ringed by huge granite coffins.
The Brooklyn Paper / Barry Shifrin

Atlantic Yards watchers think the same thing will happen if the Barclays Center is built, but the Empire State Development Corporation won’t talk.

“We are working with the developer and the NYPD on the specific security arrangements,” said spokesman Warner Johnston. “However, it is our policy to not speak on specific security measures under consideration.”

That policy violates the spirit of the Freedom of Information Law and, as such, The Brooklyn Paper has filed a FOIL request for information about the state’s security plans.

Inside, the terminal is open and airy.
The Brooklyn Paper / Gersh Kuntzman

The ESDC is a public agency. And its internal machinations over security at Atlantic Yards will play a huge role in determining the final aesthetic of a building that was once proposed to be an architectural marvel.

Since Ratner fired his original starchitect Frank Gehry, the building has been “value engineered” to be less flamboyant. Manhattan-based SHoP Architects is now in charge of the less-ambitious, though still-striking, re-design.

When Gehry was still the designer-in-chief, an NYPD spokesman famously said in 2007 that bollards would not be needed.

Architect John di Domenico is pleased with his work.
The Brooklyn Paper / Gersh Kuntzman

Perhaps our request will reveal if that’s still the case.