Brooklyn Rising

Marianne Howaston, CEO Letter SFCandGThe coverage of Brooklyn in our pages—decidedly evidence of the abundant design activity in the borough and its talented artists,artisans, architects, and decorators—is so important that I recently moderated a panel at What’s New What’s Next, the New YorkDesign Center’s annual industry gathering, with the title “Brooklyn Rising.” The following facts about Brooklyn might surprise you—they certainly surprised me.

At its current growth rate, Brooklyn is set to surpass Chicago in population and, if it were independent of New York, would be the third-largest city in the United States. Last year, architecture and design jobs in Brooklyn increased by 86 percent, compared with 23 percent for New York City overall.

Our panel’s industry stars had lots to say about Brooklyn: Leslie Young Zarra, president of Cliff Young, which began making modern luxury furniture in Brooklyn in 1968; designer Glenn Gissler, a Brooklyn resident and current president of the New York chapter of ASID; Leonard Steinberg, president of the real estate firm Compass; Eric Chang, co-founder of the award-winning Brooklyn-based furnishings company Hellman-Chang; and designer, TV personality, and author Thom Filicia. They unanimously agreed that Brooklyn is so accommodating, it embraces all comers and styles.

I’ve often said that a coming-of-age symbol for a city is surely a designer showhouse, and now the first-ever Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse, sponsored by NYC&G, will open its doors to the public from September 29 to November 4. For tickets and more information, go to Come see “Brooklyn Rising” for yourself!

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