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Downtown Brooklyn's Fulton Mall
Fulton Mall: New Strategies for Preservation and Planning
Amidst the city's broad redevelopment plan for downtown Brooklyn, Fulton Mall: New Strategies for Preservation and Planning seeks to offer ideas for securing the future of Fulton Mall as a vital public place. The Pratt Center is bringing historic preservation, urban planning, ethnography, community cultural development, and economic development strategies together and coordinating them, to identify economic opportunities, preserve the most important historical resources, and provide unique and useful retail for surrounding communities.
The Fulton Street Mall's old department store buildings, dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are still occupied by retail establishments on their ground floors and retain rich architectural details, but many upstairs floors are now vacant and boarded up. The current phase of the Pratt Center's Fulton Mall project will produce "preservation-oriented development" plans for several sites—financial models for the buildings' productive reuse, and designs for commercial and residential spaces that build on the Mall's existing strengths.
The project seeks to preserve more than the street's physical structures. Fulton Street Mall, Brooklyn's biggest retail district, is in a precarious moment. In 2004, the Department of City Planning rezoned the surrounding area to promote the development of new office and retail space, which threatens historic buildings and small retail establishments alike. As surrounding neighborhoods become increasingly gentrified, interest has grown in bringing new, higher-end stores to an area that has long been a retail and cultural destination for African American and Caribbean shoppers.
The Pratt Center's planning and design work will help ensure that longtime Fulton Street shoppers get an improved commercial strip that serves their needs and preserves Fulton Street Mall's role as a crossroads for Brooklynites from all over the borough. The Pratt Center's work will also assist small businesses, many run by immigrants, in remaining an essential part of the area's retail mix.
This project was launched with the generous support of the J.M. Kaplan Fund and the New York Community Trust and is a collaboration with Minerva Partners, a non-profit organization that works to forge links between heritage conservation and social development.
Pratt Center's Fulton Mall Report
- Fulton Street Mall: New Strategies for Preservation and Planning Report - Full Report
- Fulton Street Mall: New Strategies for Preservation and Planning Report - Executive Summary
- Press Release, 2/9/06