The Barclays Center website has its own timeline of key moments in the construction of the arena, but, not surprisingly, it leaves out some of our favorite events in the history of the building, which finally opens with a Jay-Z concert tonight. So we've taken it upon ourselves to compile the 10 most memorable moments?good, bad, and just entertaining?in the Barclays Center's shorter-than-it-feels past. Without further ado:
10) When former Times archicritic Nicolai Ouroussoff said there was more hope for Atlantic Yards than for the Midtown skyline.
9) The entire Atlantic Yards controversy was the subject of a musical, complete with a song about ULURP.
8) When there were still other alternatives to the current design.
7) The day that Frank Gehry's Atlantic Yards design was dropped?after several years of "tweaking" by arena specialists Ellerbe Becket. Ratner decided to switch from Gehry's $1 billion design to one totaling only, oh, $800 million or so.
6) The smooch.
5) The proposal to bury the entire project under a giant mound covered in grass. A few other changes would be involved: "To pay off the bonds needed to complete the project, the mound can be covered with billboards, like any other arena. Then the BQE can be re-routed by the mound so there's an audience for the billboards."
4) When Dean Street's Freddy's Bar, a Prospect Heights dive located within the Atlantic Yards footprint, set up a nine-foot-tall PBR guillotine and decapitated Eminent Domain. Symbolically.
2) Then he assumed his supervillain stance to watch over the demolition of 636 Pacific Street, the former home of Atlantic Yards holdout Daniel Goldstein.