Crain’s reports that the Williamsburgh Savings Bank on Broadway is set to become a “museum”.
This isn’t really news – the developer has been talking up some sort of gallery or museum for months. And the Crain’s report doesn’t really add much in the way of definitiveness – the whole project, including the vacant lot next door, is still pretty ill-defined.
The architect for the project talks up the challenges of creating a museum in a landmark interior (can’t hang art on the landmarked walls?!?). Which is pretty rich when you consider that parts of the Metropolitan are landmarked, and they get by just fine. Even better, apparently without irony, the rest of the Crain’s article is about the challenge of fitting drugstores, and a host of other corporate retail establishments into landmark interiors. if Duane Reade can figure out to squeeze themselves into a landmark interior, you’d think a museum would be a piece of cake.
It will be interesting to see what this developer comes up for the space – no doubt it’s a challenge dealing with designated interiors, but he’s not the first to cross this river. Yes, it will be some of mix of hotel, gallery/museum and catering hall. But so far, the only thing that is definite is the catering – the knee-jerk, least creative use for bank interiors. And we knew that a year ago – the fact that the development team is still floating vague ideas doesn’t inspire confidence.