Brooklyn is the gentrification capital of America. This $256 million experiment tries to change that


By Nate Berg

Filling nearly a full city block in the lower-income Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, a gigantic barrel-vaulted building sits as a vestige of a distant past. The 67,000-square-foot building—about a professional soccer field worth of space—was home to a troop of horse riders for the New York State Cavalry when it was built in the late 1800s. Today, after years of vacancy and a takeover by the city of New York, a large-scale renovation has turned that historic space into a massive community-focused recreation center, with health services, offices for local nonprofits, and mixed-income housing.

The historic Bedford-Union Armory is now the Major Owens Health and Wellness Community Center. The former horse training shed with its high arched roof is now a bright, massive recreation space with three basketball courts, one soccer field, and a six-lane swimming pool. The former administrative building of the cavalry commander now houses heavily discounted offices and studios for community organizations. The project also includes a performing arts space with seating for 500 people, and a 25,000-square-foot federally qualified health center providing ambulatory, dental, psychiatric, maternal, and orthopedic care. More than 400 new apartments line the edge of the site. Built with some state and local grants and tax credits, the entire project cost about $256 million.

Original Article Courtesy of Fast Company: Read Full Article Here