Standing on Barclays Center’s green roof. Photo by Chris Ryan for The Architect’s Newspaper

It must have been a disappointment to many architecture enthusiasts when they discovered that the plan to build a green roof for Barclays Center had been nixed for budgetary reasons. The roof had been part of the original Frank Gehry design — along with a running track around its perimeter — but those features were scrapped during the recession.

The resulting white top, with its big blue logo, gave the stadium a feeling of being somehow unfinished. Now, three years after the grand opening of Barclays Center, the green roof is back in play — and it looks as if all the greenery may be in place by the end of July. Fingers crossed.

The 135,000-square-foot area is in the process of being covered with a layer of sedum, a genus of flowering plants that store water in their leaves. The idea is to capture rainwater, reduce noise output, and provide a more pleasing view for both passers-by and future residents of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park highrises being built around it.

The Architect’s Newspaper recently got an exclusive tour of the roof in construction, and the photos give the otherworldly impression of a park floating above the streets of Brooklyn. (more…)

The Architect’s Newspaper got up on top of Barclays Center to see its green roof under construction. Some facts revealed in the video it shot: Barclays had to add a new truss system under the roof to support the sod and vegetation.

The roof will feature four varieties of sedum, all of which is grown off site in Connecticut, shrink wrapped and trucked in. The sedum is loaded onto pallets and hoisted by crane onto the roof.

In fact, we caught some of this action below on the street this weekend, as you can see in the photos after the jump. Construction of the roof will wrap in the fall, Forest City’s deputy director of construction says in the video.

A Video Tour of Barclays Center’s Under-Construction Green Roof [AN]
Video by The Architect’s Newspaper; photos by Cate Corcoran

barclays center roof 1 22015

A worker died yesterday unloading massive beams for the construction of the green roof at Barclays. Peter Zepf, 52, was transferring joists from a truck onto a hoist and four fell on him around 1 in the afternoon, crushing him to death almost instantly. Work at Barclays has stopped while investigators look into what happened. Two possibilities are that the truck driver could have released the beams at the wrong moment, or the worker accidentally pressed an emergency release button.

“My signal man was crushed,” a fellow worker told the New York Daily News. “The load was top heavy, the truck driver unhooked it without being told, (and) it toppled right on top of him. I checked his pulse: he was there for half a second, and then he was gone.”

NY1 said, “Investigators believe the victim may have accidentally hit the emergency release button, causing the load to come down on him.”

“We are all devastated by what happened,” said Greenland Forest City in a prepared statement. “All of us at Greenland Forest City Ratner Partners and Barclays Center extend our most heartfelt condolences to the worker’s family and friends.”

Iron Worker at Barclays Center Crushed to Death by Steel Beams: Police [NY Daily News]
Barclays Ironworker Crushed to Death by Beams [BK Paper]
Construction Worker Killed While Working on Barclays Center Green Roof [NY1]
Photo by Andrew Fine

barclays center roof 1 22015

The Barclays Center is finally getting its 130,000-square-foot green roof. Blogger and Halstead broker Andrew Fine snapped these photos of the roof’s steel frame being installed yesterday. The sedum-covered structure will reportedly help deaden sound from particularly loud concerts, which have led to complaints from neighbors in Prospect Heights. The pricey roof was part of the initial plan for the building, but was scrapped years ago to save money. Click through to see more of the roof and all the cranes surrounding the stadium.

Barclays Center Green Roof Gets Framed, B2 Tower Still Largely Dormant [A Fine Blog]
Barclays Revives Green Roof Plan [Brownstoner]
Photos by Andrew Fine



The Democratic National Convention will be in Philly. DNC organizers said they decided against Brooklyn for logistical reasons, including travel between midtown hotels and Barclays and securing the residential area around the arena, numerous outlets reported.

As soon as the decision was announced yesterday, some small business owners near the Barclays area said they were disappointed. Just a few weeks earlier a group of the same had organized to oppose the convention, saying it would mean a loss in business for them.

Are you relieved or disappointed?

Security Headaches Doomed Brooklyn Bid for Democratic Convention [NY Times]
Businesses Near Barclays Center “Disappointed” DNC Skipped Brooklyn [DNA]


Small businesses and community groups near the Barclays Center have banded together to bring their concerns about the impact of the Democratic National Convention to the city. The Barclays Center Impact Zone Alliance wants Mayor de Blasio to appoint someone to coordinate government agencies, Greenland Forest City, the local community boards and elected officials to minimize disruption.

Ongoing construction, film shoots, and events at Barclays Center have in the past limited access to local businesses and caused them to lose income, according to the group’s press release.

The alliance “asks for a plan to promote local businesses as well as a commitment to compensate for any lost income caused as a result of access limitations necessitated by such a high security event” as the convention.

Members include the North Flatbush BID, residents of Newswalk, Dean Street Block Association (6th Avenue to Vanderbilt), The Atlantic Terrace Outreach Committee, St. Marks Block Association, and various individuals and small businesses.


Hundreds staged die-ins in front of Barclays and Target last night as Prince William and Kate took in a Nets game to protest the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case. Target closed early, cops blocked the Atlantic Center Mall, and the subway stop there was shut down just as the game let out, according to Tweets and news reports.

Nets and Cleveland Cavelier players wore “I Can’t Breathe” tshirts. Russell Simmons chatted with protesters outside Barclays during the game, then tweeted “I am deeply inspired by all of the young people who are marching for justice. You are leading this country to a much better place.”

Was anyone there?

LeBron Wears an “I Can’t Breathe” Shirt at Barclays Center [NY Post]
Protesters Converge on Barclays Center [WSJ]
Eric Garner Protesters Set for Barclays Brouhaha [Eagle]
Eric Garner Protests Held Outside Barclays Center [7 Online]
Demonstrators Protest Eric Garner Decision Outside Barclays Center [DNA]
Photo via Ustream


Forest City Enterprises is selling its 55 percent majority stake in Barclays Center, according to Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal. Possible candidates include Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, who already owns 45 percent of the arena, or the new owners of the Islanders. No price has been named, but investment banking sources quoted by SBJ speculated $750,000,000 would be the top valuation, based on an estimated $30,000,000 in annual cash flow.

Atlantic Yards Report called the sale “curious,” considering the center cost more than $845,000,000 to build, according to various estimates. What do you make of it?

Barclays Center for Sale [SBJ]
Breaking: Ratner’s Selling Share of Barclays Center (at a Loss?) [AYR]


In the two years since Barclays Center opened its doors, 100 local businesses have closed, and chains like Shake Shack have arrived on Flatbush Avenue and nearby. (Opening soon: Doughnut Plant and Patsy’s Pizza). But some small businesses have survived and prospered by learning how to capitalize on game nights and concerts, according to a report in the Commercial Observer.

The owner of Cake Ambiance, the five-year-old dessert spot at 452 Dean Street, said the shop has gotten 20 to 40 percent more foot traffic since Barclays Center opened. He lures customers from the arena on game nights by offering free samples.

Two doors down, the little Italian cafe Broccolino has seen more business before and after events at the arena. Owner Giuseppe Piazzolla claims his local customers don’t mind the crowds from the stadium, because they come between 7 and 10 pm — when the game or the concert is happening. Business has been so good that he plans to open a pizzeria in the vacant storefront next door.

Two Years After the Barclays Center Opened, Which Local Businesses Have Won and Lost? [NYO]


Brooklyn could be the location for the next Democratic National Convention, in 2016. Mayor Bill de Blasio has submitted an official bid to hold it at Barclays Center, the Times reported.

New York was one of 15 cities asked to submit bids to host the convention, including Phoenix, Miami, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. A shift from Madison Square Garden, where Bill Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination in 1992, to Barclays “would be freighted with symbolism,” said the Times.


Barclays is planning to replace its roof with a green one, which will also deaden sound from concerts, The Wall Street Journal reported. The green roof was part of the initial plan for the center but was nixed years ago to rein in costs, according to the paper.

The roof of the subway entrance was planted in sedum in 2012. Atlantic Yards Report was the first to write about the revived plans for the green roof. How do you like it?

A Roof Grows on Barclays [WSJ]
Rendering by SHoP Architects via WSJ