Despite vehement local opposition, Harlem's historic Renaissance Ballroom just can't be saved. But it seems BRP Development—who's spearheading the redevelopment, after buying the site for $10 million last year—listened to the public outcry, and has worked with local preservationists to come up with a redesign that, in the words of DNAinfo, will "honor the historic structure."
The eight-story, 134-unit development's new design will "incorporate architectural elements" of the iconic Renaissance Ballroom, by featuring "bricks that are the same sizes and colors of the original, diamond mosaics at the top of the second floor and a brick band crowning the building." While the new design is certainly less rage-inducing than the last one, it only resembles the Renaissance Ballroom if you squint real hard.
"We are excited about the project, the community came to us and we listened," says BRP exec Geoff Flurnoy. "We are at a place now where we think this is a great win-win for all parties concerned."
Of course, whether or not this resolution is a "win-win" is up for debate. Some community members do seem pleased with the new design, but the tone of others seems to suggest resigned acceptance, at best.
"I think in the end we are going to have a reasonably happy group of people and a reasonably unhappy group of people," said Connie Lee of the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance. "This is not a win-win situation for everyone but we have I think the best possible outcome considering what's happened in the past."
· Developers Honor History of Renaissance Ballroom With New Design [DNAinfo]
· All Renaissance Ballroom coverage [Curbed]