Famous Author Get Attention for Dumbo Land-Use Protest

mccullough.jpgPeople have protests against overdevelopment all the time, and most get little attention from the press. But the folks in Dumbo who disapprove the building of yet another ugly modern tower, this one hard by the Brooklyn Bridge, had a masterstroke: have a celebrity guest. If they'd gotten Lindsay Lohan or Lady Gaga, they'd get one kind of coverage, but their good fortune was to get Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian David McCulloch (John Adams), and that is pure Times-bait. They put the item in the City Room blog, but that's still good for this kind of thing. They quote the Master (Developers are "upstaging what should not be upstaged. The magic of the bridge's image is diminished. It's wrecked") and show a picture of him looking at his watch. The Daily News, Newsday, and others also covered.

The tower is approved by Marty Markowitz, though more grudgingly than usual (and with amendations to preserve some Bridge views, which the developers took well enough to post on their website). The project includes a middle school, which the overdeveloped area, newly flush with rich parents, very much needs, and which supposedly swayed the city and borough authorities, who had rejected the project when it was previously presented without the school. But it has recently been discovered that the School Construction Authority seemed to be holding off on authorizing a new school, suggesting to cynics that they may have been waiting for the Dock Street developers to present theirs.

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