A story in this week's Crain's suggests that the Visual and Performing Arts Library planned for the BAM Cultural District in Fort Greene may never materialize due to lack of funding. The story ("Library Project in Doubt," p6) is based on an anonymous source, described as "an insider at the Brooklyn Public Library." Unfortunately we cannot post the link because Crain's requires a subscription.
According to Crain's, "The source says that library executives have given up trying to raise funds for the $135 million Enrique Norten-designed building, which was announced with great fanfare in 2002 and was originally slated to be completed this year.... At this point, the project will be saved only if a partner comes along to finance the building." There is no new information about the planned adjacent theater, dance studio, residential tower, and public plaza, which together with the library were said to cost around $650 million.
Mum's the word from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, which has helped coordinate planning of the emerging cultural district. On January 30, 2007, the Post ran an article that anticipated the flowering of Brooklyn's "new Left Bank" as an artistic mecca. However, the Visual and Performing Arts Library was listed as "currently on hold until a new executive director is named for the Brooklyn Public Library." Dionne Mack Harvin was appointed Director in March, but will she be able to push the project forward? Stay tuned.