2005_05_unbldg.jpgWith the urgent need to renovate their asbestos-filled and cramped headquarters on the East River, the United Nations is considering a move to Brooklyn. Seriously. Over a year ago, the U.N. selected Fumihiko Maki to design their new temporary space on First Avenue, a "glassy, white and sheer but elegant building," but the NY State Senate rejected the plan, so the U.N. had to hunt again for space starting in 2007. There are reports that the U.N. was offered space at 7 World Trade Center, but Secretary General Kofi Annan said that various real estate analyses showed that the only available building space, in the range of 700,000 square feet, was in downtown Brooklyn. If this goes through, the implications will be wild, with more diplomatic car accidents (diplomats will need to be shuttled around).

The NY Times has the best coverage of the story, because it's chockful of great quotes. A spokesman for Annan said, "Even though I live in New Jersey and I'd have to travel farther, I like the idea of Brooklyn for the United Nations. After all, Brooklyn is an underdog." And, naturally, there are quotes from Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, like "I'm beyond myself" and "Just like every Manhattanite who comes across the bridge, they'll know they're in the promised land." Marty is seriously going to have a coronary! Then there are the celebrity director quotes: Sydney Pollack, whose latest film was set in the U.N., said, "There's something about the international sense of it and global focus that feels absolutely organic to New York that might not be organic to Brooklyn," but qualified it with, "My experience of Brooklyn is Peter Luger's." Marty is having another coronary - and drawing up an invitation to show Pollack around right now! Then Spike Lee seems open to the idea, though he says the proposed Brookly Nets can't really stay. Gothamist liked how the Times noted that Lee "maintains" an office in Fort Greene, since he now lives in an Upper East Side townhouse.

The New Yorker showed the Manhattan prejudice towards Brooklyn, resulting in a mock cover, and Gothamist looked at Pollack's U.N. thriller, The Interpreter. One of Gothamist's favorite buildings is the U.N.'s Secretariat Building, and we wonder if what this will do to the residential real estate markets in Midtown East/Turtle Bay/Murray Hill and downtown Brooklyn. Calling, Curbed.