The Battle of Brooklyn! Hillary and Bernie Square Off at the Duggal Greenhouse

Curators’ Corner, Industry News

The Battle of Brooklyn! Hillary and Bernie Square Off at the Duggal Greenhouse

Two hundred and forty years ago, on August 27th, 1776, the then most powerful country in the world faced-off with the an upstart nation in a historic battle.

Tonight Thursday April 14th, history won’t exactly repeat, but it will rhyme as the once presumptive nominee of the Democrat party, and NY native (by way of Arkansas) Hillary Clinton, and her irrepressible rival, Bernie Sanders of Queens (late of Vermont), will fight for the hearts-and-minds of New Yorkers in a debate to be held at the Duggal Greenhouse at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.


Twitter is abuzz with prognostications. Will New York be a firewall for the former NY State Senator or an upset victory for the Socialist Senator from Vermont (you can’t make this stuff up folks!). That’s a question best left to the cable news pundits and the candidates’ proxies.

This article is going to give you the inside scoop, literally; the history of the debate venue.

Let’s start by noting that nothing in politics happens by accident. The selection of the Duggal Greenhouse would have been no exception.

Location, location, location. The optics are fantastic. The venue occupies an entire pier at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and boasts a 70′ high glass front that looks out on to Manhattan. In one shot you get trendy Brooklyn and one of the world’s most recognized skylines.


Demographics. Brooklyn, particularly the bits across the bridges, has become a burgeoning home for young affluent trendsters and families in NYC. They are liberal and they vote!

Business. The Duggal Greenhouse is also an economic success story and is a model of transforming urban industrial spaces. A nice opportunity for Democrats to celebrate entrepreneurialism, which is sometimes buried under beneath their many social causes.

Baldev Duggal, an Indian immigrant, who dreamed of America as a boy and came here in his twenties with nothing but ambition, had built a successful and internationally renowned graphics business. By the early 2000s, he was looking for expansion space for his growing graphic business, long based in Manhattan, and his latest investments in green-tech.


He fell in love with a dilapidated peer at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The once bustling yard had seen better days and the City was promoting economic development there. Still, you had to have some vision to see the rust bucket as a diamond in the rough. Having overcome many challenges from 9/11 to Katrina, Baldev was unfazed. Not only was he going to rebuild the peer, he was going to build a showcase, a testament to his will and commitment to his adopted home City.

It has exceeded all expectations. The Duggal Greenhouse has been the location of Beyoncé videos, hosted corporate events with Nike and IBM, and several spectacular weddings. The Democrat party debate will now undoubtedly put it and a revitalized Brooklyn Navy Yard on a global stage.

Last, but not least, ‘Green’ is good politics. While the Greenhouse isn’t officially certified as a green building, it is an industrial rehab that was consciously designed using natural materials and operates with a low-carbon footprint. Having the Democrat party host a critical debate at the “Greenhouse”, is a not so subtle reminder of one of the party’s key planks, Climate Change.

How’s that for apropos? Nicely played Democrats!