The Brooklyn Connection: The Transformation of 62nd and New Utrecht

Posted by on Jul 27, 2018 in What We've been Up To | No Comments
The Brooklyn Connection: The Transformation of  62nd and New Utrecht

In 1925, the corner of 62nd and New Utrecht was constructed as an RJR Nabisco warehouse. Years later, the chase scene in the 1971 crime thriller film, The French Connection, ended at the 62nd subway stop on the D line, overlooking the warehouse space. What happened over the next decades, and even in the past year,  is a microcosm of urban change, manifest on one unique Brooklyn corner!


By 2016, the building was known as Underworld—a pink stucco women’s under garment store serving the nearby Hasidic community.

In 2017, the closing of Underworld Plaza led to the creation of the District 20 Pre-K. The resulting Doban Architecture adaptive re-use project, designed for and built by the New York City School Construction Authority accommodates 324 students and is one of the largest facilities constructed under New York City Mayor DiBlasio’s signature Universal PreK Initiative.

Any Brooklynite can tell you that the borough has gone through substantial changes in the last few decades. The transformation of the corner of 62nd and New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst is in some ways a reflection on the larger changes Brooklyn has undergone. From a factory warehouse, to a retail center, to a school, the building on the corner of 62nd and New Utrecht has served different communities along the way. Over the years, this space has evolved to meet the needs of the changing community. Sometimes the ever-changing nature of New York can feel daunting and ceaseless. However, the  spirit of Brooklyn is created by the people who live here and the communities that exist amongst eachother, evolving from corner to corner.

For further information on this project, see link below!

District 20 Pre-K Center

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