Did you hear that the Barclays Center is Rusting?
Neither had I, so I took to the streets to see for myself. As I walked down 5th Ave, pausing to stop at a few favored watering holes, I thought, surely this must be an egregious rumor that bears little truth, because why would a brand new arena that hasn't even opened yet already appear aged with rust?!
Boy, was I wrong. Turns out, the damn thing is actually covered in rust! There it stands, larger than life in Brooklyn’s busiest shitshow of an intersection, with a woven pattern of rusted metal that, as it turns out, is deliberate.
This oxidizing realization brings with it more negativity, adding to the already highly poo-pooed arena. Since its groundbreaking on March 11, 2010, the $4.9 billion sports arena has been chapping the asses of residents and local businesses, who claim the use of eminent domain as unlawful. They also argue that the increased traffic and competition from the center’s new bars and clubs will ruin neighborhood economy.
It turns out that rust, often a sign of neglect in most circles, was purposely chosen for the Barclay Center as a functional design element. The “weathering steel" material on the center’s façade, also known as Cor-Ten, is meant to provide a protective coat of corrosion, serving as a buffer for the inner steel of the structure.
"Weathering” refers to the chemical composition of the steel, which exhibits increased resistance to atmospheric corrosion compared to other steels. Now I know what you must be thinking: Crikey! These designers thought of everything. That shit is impenetrable like an old, wet suit of armor. Not so fast, buckos. Cor-Ten has a history pock-marked with failure. Rather than a preventative measure for further rust, the treated steel has a tendency to continue rusting and never stop, which eventually produces holes in the structures it envelopes, and run-off that that turns sidewalks and nearby buildings a lovely reddish brown. Stadiums in Hawaii, Atlanta, and New Haven have suffered such fates lasting on average about 25 years.
Personally, and after checking it out for myself, I think the rust makes the Barclays Center look pretty bad-ass. The broken garbage, er reclaimed look, is totally hip; think of how many rusty coffee tables grace the Brooklyn Flea. All of this said, is the design really worth it if the place is going to fall apart in 25 years? And if that outcome is the case you better believe my over-the-hill ass will scoot over on my Hover Round to scoop up some of the pieces that I can hang up in my apartment as old, new wall art. Until then I’ll be front and center with a foam finger and a Brooklyn Lager tallboy root, root, rooting for the home team.
Lastly, I think it apropos to leave you with a few awkwardly re-worded Jay Z Lyrics:
Yeah, yeah I’ma up at Brooklyn, hangin’ with the new Nets,
Right next to the railroad, ‘cross the street from Target,
Bouncin’ with Kris Humphries, you won’t see Kardashian there,
Nets made it to Brooklyn, they can make it anywhere.