NYCEDC and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Break Ground on New Arts and Cultural Center in Downtown Brooklyn
The new L10 Arts and Cultural Center brings state-of-the-art library and entertainment facilities to the community.
December 04, 2019
BROOKLYN, NY — New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCLA) today celebrated the start of construction on a new cultural center at the 32-story mixed-use tower, located at 300 Ashland Place in Downtown Brooklyn. The L10 Arts and Cultural Center will be home to several noteworthy cultural institutions including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Public Library, the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) and 651 ARTS.
Operated by the city, the new 50,000 square-foot space will host cultural activities and house gallery and performance space for MoCADA, three cinemas and additional BAM spaces, rehearsal studios and performance space for 651 ARTS, and a new branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. The venue will be 651 ARTS’s first dedicated permanent space.
“For both visitors and residents alike, Fort Greene is a destination for arts and entertainment, and I’m thrilled to celebrate the addition of this new community space and all it has to offer,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “The opening of the L10 Arts and Cultural Center officially marks the completion of the entire BAM South Tower project, which has brought invaluable affordable housing, jobs and community and public space to the neighborhood. I’d like to thank our community partners, Two Trees Management and our sister agencies for helping make this vibrant new center a reality.”
“Today’s groundbreaking of the L10 Arts and Cultural Center heralds the creation of another world-class cultural hub here in Brooklyn,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl. “With new cinemas for BAM’s renowned film programming, gallery and performance space for MoCADA’s new home, 651 Arts’ affordable dance studios, and Brooklyn Public Library’s innovative new branch, L10 promises to be a vibrant new member of the thriving Brooklyn Cultural District. We thank our partners at NYCEDC and Two Trees for helping us reach this important milestone.”
Rendering of the Brooklyn Public Library space.
The cultural center is housed within a larger 460,000 square foot mixed-use residential tower that opened in the fall of 2017. Developed by Two Trees Management, the building includes 76 units of affordable housing and ground floor retail, which is currently occupied by an Apple store and a Whole Foods 365 market. Additionally, the building features a public plaza for farmer’s markets, performances and other programming for the local community along with public parking.
Bounded by Lafayette Avenue, Flatbush Avenue and Ashland Place, the building is located within the Downtown Brooklyn Cultural District, home to more than 30 cultural organizations, including the Mark Morris Dance Center, BRIC, Theater for a New Audience, and the Brooklyn Music School.
“Cultural diversity is what defines the energy and rhythm of Brooklyn, New York,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo. “With the opening of BAM South, which will include BAM, The Brooklyn Public Library, 651 Arts, and MoCADA, I am excited about the creative cultural collaborations that will emerge and the exploration of Brooklyn’s creative voice beyond our wildest dreams. This is truly a cause for celebration.”
“The new L10 Arts and Cultural Center serves as further confirmation that Brooklyn is the epicenter for culture in our city,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “The creative sector in our city isn’t just a nice draw for visitors, it is a stimulus for the five boroughs, contributing hundreds of thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity. These kinds of institutions enrich our borough and make it a better place to live, work, and raise healthy children and families, and I thank EDC and the Department for Cultural Affairs for their partnership.”
“New York City has always been a cultural hub for the arts and emanating from that hub, one borough has had a particularly strong foothold: Brooklyn,” said New York State Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley. “Art is a part of our cultural fabric. From painters like Basquiat to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, art is what inspires us and provides enjoyment to our everyday lives. That is why I am proud to see the opening of the L10 Arts and Cultural Center as we continue to add to the fabric that is Brooklyn.”
Rendering of 651 ARTS space.
Previously used as a parking lot, the building is the result of a collaboration between city agencies, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, and Two Trees Management to revitalize an under-utilized intersection. The building is situated in a prime location near the Atlantic Terminal, which is easily accessible by multiple modes of public transit.
“We look forward with great anticipation to creating this permanent home for 651 ARTS,” said David J. Roberts, 651 ARTS Executive Director. “Wonderful new community programming opportunities will now possible, as well as the space to present world class performing artists from across the African Diaspora in ways that were not possible for 651 before. This moment is the result of years of dedicated quality programming, engaged board and stakeholder leadership, and the will of our Brooklyn communities and neighbors whom we are so proud to serve,”
“We are very grateful to the New York Economic Development Corporation and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs for making vital new cultural spaces possible for us, our colleagues, and our community,” said BAM President Katy Clark. “In what will be named the BAM Karen, in honor of our longtime former president Karen Brooks Hopkins, we will expand our cinema operations, increasing access to some of our most affordable and groundbreaking programs in an under-screened borough. We’re excited to create a permanent home for the BAM Hamm Archives, where the Shelby White & Leon Levy Reading Room will provide public access to a historical and cultural collection covering over 150 years. The BAM Karen will also include the Samuel H. Scripps Education Center—a state-of-the-art learning space—which will allow us to continue to innovate our programming for young audiences.”
“Brooklyn Public Library is thrilled to partner with some of New York’s finest cultural organizations to make the arts and the cultural district accessible to all of our patrons,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “The Library has long ensured Brooklynites have access to educational, civic and cultural opportunities and we are delighted to further this critical work with the L10 Arts and Cultural Center.”
“We are truly excited to celebrate the culmination of our 20th anniversary — 20 years of Black art — in our new home at 300 Ashland Place, a brilliant cultural destination that will connect Brooklyn’s rich history with a promising shared future,” said Amy Andrieux, Executive Director and Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA).
“I applaud the City and Two Trees for this partnership at 300 Ashland which has brought new open space to the neighborhood, and permanent space for key cultural organizations at the heart of the Brooklyn Cultural District,” said Regina Myer, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “Continuing a 40-year joint effort by the City and local arts organizations to invest in the rich history and vibrancy of Brooklyn’s arts scene, this project further bolsters Brooklyn’s status as the cultural heart in one of the most diverse places in the world.”
“This project was conceived as a new civic landscape within the heart of Brooklyn,” said Andrea Steele, AIA, Principal of Andrea Steele Architecture. “The design elevates the public walk to connect the community to new resources. While the exterior landscaped terrace has already become a vibrant destination and venue for dance performances, concerts, markets and festivals; the new cultural spaces will bring critical activation and extend the public realm within, resulting in a 360-degree panorama of city life.”
“Skanska is proud to help bring the vision for this new center into reality,” said Jeff Rosser, Vice President, Skanska. “We work hard every day to build for a better society and to contribute toward improving the social, economic, cultural and environmental future of our great city. Building beautiful spaces like the L10 Arts and Cultural Center equips New York to continue its rich tradition of being a world class leader in the arts and education for generations to come.”
Renderings of BAM reading room (L) and cinema lobby (R).
The new L10 Arts and Cultural Center is the latest project to be delivered from a series of city-led investments to grow the Brooklyn Cultural District.
In 2016, the City dedicated capital to improve existing amenities and enhance functional capabilities in the BAM Harvey Theater, recently renamed BAM Strong. The work included renovations to multiple lobby areas, a new elevator and grand stairway to the balcony level. A new patron’s lounge opened on a terrace formed by the roof of a newly constructed one-story building that will host an art gallery.
The City also replaced the sidewalks surrounding Betty Carter Park as part of a broader initiative to reconstruct and reopen the 9,000 square-foot public park. You can learn about Brooklyn Cultural District projects by clicking here.