Anchored by the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the $100 million Brooklyn Cultural District project is bringing new arts space and housing to the New York City borough. Roughly bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Fulton Street and Hanson Place, the neighbourhood revitalization was kickstarted by the development of affordable office space for nonprofit organizations at the 80 Arts - James E. Davis Arts Building in 2004. Since then, a number of cultural spaces have opened, including BRIC Arts | Media House and the Polonsky Shakespeare Center which sits next to a new 52-storey tower called The Ashland

The Ashland, image by Forum contributor towerpower123

Developed by Gotham Organization and DT Salazar in partnership with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the 586-unit development allocates 281 residences to low- and middle-income families. On the ground floor, 10,800 square feet of retail will animate the street, and a floor above, 8,000 square feet will be dedicated to arts organizations. 

The Ashland, image via FXFOWLE

The FXFOWLE-designed tower stands tall above Fulton Street, its materials bringing some local familiarity to the project. The building's maroon and tan brick facade is reminiscent of the nearby brownstone houses that are an iconic piece of the urban fabric in the Fort Greene neighbourhood. The orientation of the slim tower lends views of Manhattan and the East River, made possible by large expanses of glass. 

The Ashland, image by Forum contributor towerpower123

Forum contributor towerpower123 stopped by the site recently and captured cladding that has almost entirely sealed the 568-foot building's volume. The tower crane has been removed and interior work is progressing in anticipation of occupancy later this year. 

The mixed-use 15 Lafayette Avenue is set to join the fray in the coming years, as is the 32-storey BAM South —now under construction — which contains public amenities in the form of a new library and plaza. With the addition of large buildings, streetscape improvements are scheduled as well. From Flatbush Avenue to BAM Park, new street furniture, LED lights, and sidewalk paving will enhance the pedestrian experience in the Brooklyn Cultural District. Fox Square at the intersection of Flatbush and Fulton has already undergone renovations, a sneak peek of what's to come in the near future. 

BAM South, image via TEN Arquitectos

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