As New York gets ready for next week's Democratic Presidential Debate co-sponsored by NY1, we take a look at the venue where the showdown will be held. As Brooklyn Reporter Jeanine Ramirez reports, it's a site steeped in history.
The hulls of ships were built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II and then launched right into the East River.
The building is still here and will now add to its rich history — this time as the site of next week's Democratic Presidential Debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
"I always think when we're planning an event, I think six months out for a live event is really the ideal amount of time," said Mary Lovci, the vice president of Global Events, the company that leases the building.
Despite having less than two weeks to prepare for the debate, Lovci said she is confident the space will be ready.
The venue, Duggal Greenhouse, is large, with a ground floor of nearly 30,000 square feet, and additional space on the mezzanine.
It has hosted many top-of-the line events in its latest incarnation, from fashion shows featuring designers like Alexander Wang and Christian Dior, to corporate functions organized by companies from AOL to IBM.
"We've also had the privilege of having several celebrities in to be able to do rehearsal space, like for Madonna and Beyoncé before going on world tour," Lovci said.
The 70-foot-high building takes its current name from Baldev Duggal; it's one of five buildings the entrepreneur has leased at the Navy Yard.
Duggal, an 80-year-old immigrant from India, is the man behind Duggal Visual Solutions, the largest privately owned printing company in North America.
The debate space was being used as a storage warehouse when he took it over in 2009.
"There was asbestos in the building, a new floor needed to be poured," Lovci said. "We had to think about egress of the building, how people can use this space."
The building finally opened as an events venue in 2013 after flooding from Hurricane Sandy set back renovations. It can safely hold 3,000 people, but it's not yet clear how many tickets will be distributed for the debate.
The Duggal Greenhouse sits between the Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. NY Water Taxi will provide transportation directly to the site for next week's debate.