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UrbanGlass breaks ground for renovation
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz , BRIC Board Chair Lizanne Fontaine, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Councilmember Letitia James, UrbanGlass Executive Director Dawn Bennett, and UrbanGlass Board Vice Chair Carol Yorke. Photo courtesy of Alex Ipiotis, Island Photography.
BROOKLYN, NY.- Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth Pinsky and Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate D. Levin joined UrbanGlass Executive Director Dawn Bennett and Board Vice Chair Carol Yorke and representatives of BRIC Arts | Media | BKLYN to break ground on the UrbanGlass ReNEWal Project and BRIC Arts | Media House. The $33 million City-funded project will create a multi-disciplinary arts and media complex at the former site of the Strand Theatre at 647 Fulton Street. The event began with an official groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the Strand Theatre, attended by government officials and representatives from each organization. Architect Thomas Leeser unveiled the new design for the renovation project at a formal ceremony following the groundbreaking, at the Mark Morris Dance Center.

“The renovation of the historic Strand Theatre will provide a state-of-the-art home for two of New York City’s most dynamic arts groups,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This major new addition to the thriving BAM Cultural District, which already houses more than 40 diverse arts organizations, and will further cement Brooklyn’s place as a cultural capital of the world.” The New UrbanGlass includes an expansion into an additional 3,300 sq. ft. street-level retail and gallery space on Fulton Street and a completely rebuilt and modernized 17,000 sq. ft. glassworking facility on the third floor. The LEED Silver project will include new systems for the glass studio, which will make its equipment 20-30% more energy-efficient, including one furnace that will melt only recycled glass.

UrbanGlass Executive Director Dawn Bennett said, “The New UrbanGlass will be both a stateof-the-art energy efficient glassworking facility and a cultural destination that offers the public a unique opportunity to engage in the exciting artistic medium of glass. “

“I think we can all agree that the building we are ‘breaking ground’ on today is truly a ‘groundbreaking’ building, and I have been proud to support it,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. “Urban Glass was the first ‘artist-access’ glass center in the country and today remains the largest, and visitors will now be able to enjoy the breathtaking drama of glass artists at work. And it’s impossible to imagine what the arts scene in Brooklyn would be like without BRIC—from BCAT to the Celebrate Brooklyn performance series. The project is yet another example of how the BAM Cultural District is shaping up to be the City’s most exciting and vibrant arts development.”

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