Now this DUMBO plaza is finally a ‘Pearl’

The Brooklyn Paper
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DUMBO’s Pearl Street Triangle — which is as beloved as it is mocked — would become a pedestrian oasis complete with movie screenings and ample seating under a visionary plan put forth by three architects.

The only problem with the design is that it will never be built.

Indeed, the main point of the DUMBO Improvement District’s “ideas competition” — which pitted architects against one another to design the perfect Pearl Street Triangle — was to remind the city that the architecturally dull court at Anchorage Place was always meant to be a temporary fix.

On Monday, Coburn Architecture employees Yuliya Ilizarov, Jean-Luc Torchon and Abdou Ndoye won a round of golf claps and $2,500 for their proposal — which they admitted only took two days to complete.

“It’s a great honor — we love Brooklyn and this firm has done a lot for this community,” Ilizarov said after hearing the news on Monday. “Our proposal won’t necessarily turn out to be the new plaza, but hopefully it will generate interest in this area.”

Still, their plan is quite a step up from what the triangle is now: a couple of (overused) seating areas and a handful of trees amid a puke-green-colored triangle near the Manhattan Bridge.

The trio’s proposal includes multi-level seating areas, more foliage, and the best part: a projector that plays movies in high definition across the nearby brick of the Manhattan Bridge.

But BID officials said that the competition was only a first-step in the process of petitioning the city for money, and eventually a paradise for the peds.

“We don’t want the triangle that’s there now — it was originally a temporary plaza installed to see if people would use it,” said BID spokeswoman Jane Kojima. “Now there’s not a single seat available out there on a hot sunny day, and that’s a good problem to have.”

In 2007, the plaza was built to replace a small number of underused parking spaces. Kojima said that a new plaza (and, hopefully, a giant movie projector) should be on the city’s priority list as DUMBO gains popularity among tourists and real-estate shoppers.

Updated 1:08 am, June 23, 2010
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