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New Courthouse Newsstand To Be Rebuilt Following Costly Errors

City Initially Spent $40,000 On New Newsstand

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A newly designed newsstand for the lobby of a Brooklyn courthouse was ready to go into service until costly design problems were found.

As CBS 2′s John Slattery reported Tuesday, since the Great Depression, newsstands in the lobbies of public buildings and courthouses have been operated by the blind and the stands were designed with that in mind.

But the new one in the lobby of the Criminal Court Building on Schermerhorn Street didn’t pass muster.

“It’s not capable for a visually handicapped person to work in,” news vendor Patrick Piccirillo told Slattery.

The city spent $40,000 on the replacement newsstand, but it’s got some shelves that are wide open for shoplifting, among other design flaws.

“It’s not set up for coffee,” Piccirillo said.

Also, it was located outside the lobby’s metal detectors, a problem for those already in the building.

An Albany source told CBS 2 that the State Commission for the Blind, which wasn’t consulted, rejected the design after it was built.

“If they weren’t consulted, then it was a bad choice by New York City,” State Committee of Blind Vendors chairman Gary Grassman told Slattery.

The city said the stand will be rebuilt and moved.

“As part of a major and vital rehabilitation of the Kings County Criminal Court, we are adding a new newsstand and investing to make it accessible,” the City’s Department of Design and Construction spokesperson Crain Chin said in a statement.

The city said it is not a total loss. The shelves will be used in the construction of the new one.

The updated newsstand is part of a $38 million renovation for the aging courthouse.

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