Restoration Plaza is the birthplace of the nation’s first community development corporation. Initiated as a grassroots movement, the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (BSRC) created Restoration Plaza on the site of an abandoned milk bottling plant. Since that time, the plaza has become a town square and a center for education, commerce, and culture in Brooklyn. In 2005, Garrison Architects was chosen by the BSRC to transform Restoration Plaza into a more open, accessible and vital neighborhood center and to reinforce the plaza as a commercial center.
As Restoration Plaza exists to support its local community, our master plan began by connecting the plaza with the vibrant thoroughfare of Fulton Street. By Increasing visibility and access between the streetscape and the businesses and galleries of the West Plaza, visitors have been encouraged to gather here and linger for shopping, outdoor dining, and performances.
The space of the plaza itself has been redefined by a key symbolic addition, the Wall of Fame. Bearing digitally printed images of Restoration Plaza’s founders and other community leaders, the glass commemorative panels line the facades of the surrounding buildings. A projection screen and audio system are integrated into the glass skin to create a dynamic public space for outdoor movies and other events. At night, the plaza is flooded with light from the Wall of Fame. A four-story illuminated glass sign projects from the edge of the southwest building to announce the plaza’s presence.
Planted areas will dramatically reduce the heat absorption and storm water runoff associated with open plaza areas. The redesign more than doubles the amount of green space in Restoration Plaza.