Sunday, May 28, 2006

In Williamsburg, the Finger Continueth to Rise

Slowly but surely, the infamous Finger Building continues to rise on North 8th Street in Williamsburg. Work was halted for some time on Ye Olde Finger after permits were violated. Then, new plans were submitted to the Department of Buildings scaling back the building from 16 stories to a mere 10. Construction activity resumed and the Finger Building--which gained the nickname for what it does to the surrounding low-rise nabe--is now significantly taller than its surroundings. The only thing, in fact, that makes the Good Old Finger look diminutive is that a 20-story crane towers over it.

The Finger is designed by Scarano and Associates, whose principal Robert Scarano is behind many Brooklyn buildings, including a number of highly unpopular ones. Mr. Scarano is the subject of a Department of Buildings investigation concerning his tendency to put a lot of "mezzanines" in his buildings. Mezzanines aren't counted toward a building's square footage. (Details available in a Park Slope Courier article about another controversial Scarano building that would have blocked the historic view from the statue of Minerva in Green-Wood Cemetery to the Statue of Liberty. That building is now rather, um, dead.)

The Finger, however, won't look like such a Big Bird Flipper once the all the Williamsburg waterfront development starts poking ten and fifteen stories into the air or--God help us all--Williamsburgh Square is approved and built. Yup, the time will come, after a few of those 40-story babies go up, that The Finger Building will look like The Pinkie Building because it's only a third as tall as The Edge on Kent Avenue and its neighbors. Talk about giving the Burg the finger.

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