Seeing the city through the lens of theatre and time can be an effective way of comprehending an urban setting. This project is centered on a proposal for a heritage center located on the waterfront area in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. The design is an example of outdoor theatrical urbanism that conceptually extends and bifurcates Metropolitan Avenue, which visually connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. This new reading and perception of the street is intended to elevate one’s attentiveness to the surrounding setting, while also highlighting the area’s industrialized past.
Through the imitation of industrial facades, the construction of the proscenium is focused on the representation of a historical street appearance. While the play is performed, the two-street scenography is meant to take the viewer to a time that is reminiscent of Williamsburg at around the turn of the century. The views of the stage from the seating area are precisely projected in alignment with Manhattan’s skyline, with the city serving as a backdrop. Additionally, this theatrical orchestration optically creates a mechanism that joins the shores together emphasizing the memories of the area’s first ferry line.
1776 map -1807: New York Island. American and British Army Position, August 27, 1776. Published by Dentu, Imprimeur-Libraire. Davidrumsey.com
1880 map – 1880: Atlas of the Entire City of Brooklyn, published by G. W. Bromley & E. Robinson. (New York Public Library)
1905 map -1905: Insurance Maps of the Brooklyn City of New York. Volume Four, Published by the Sanborn Map Co. (New York Public Library)
1965 map -1965: Port Facilities at Port of New York. Office of the District Engineer New York District, Corp of Engineers – 1965 edition. Property of Philip M. Goldstein.