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Thread: Brooklyn Bridge Park - by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

  1. #1

    Default Brooklyn Bridge Park - by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

    Brooklyn Bridge Park Website

    A small part of the 67 acre Brooklyn Bridge Park has quietly been completed. The area is just south of the Manhattan Bridge and connects with the existing Fulton Ferry State Park.

    A few early morning views:





    Shell of the Tobacco Warehouse


    Undeveloped lot north of the Manhattan Bridge. Site A in the plan


    From the Brooklyn Heights promenade at Montague St. The existing MTA building (probably an access to the IRT tunnel) will remain. I don't know what the steel is for, but I read somewhere that there was once a grand staircase at this spot, and one plan would incorporate the MTA building in a bridge over the BQE to the promenade.

  2. #2
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    I wondered what the steel was for too.

    Thanks for the pictures. I had no idea a new segment had opened.

  3. #3

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    I remember that section nearing completion in the spring. I want to go there sometime soon.

  4. #4

    Default

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    PR- 265-03
    September 22, 2003

    MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND GOVERNOR GEORGE E. PATAKI OPEN NEWEST SECTION OF BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

    New 1.5-Acre Segment is Part of a 70-Acre Master Plan to Transform Brooklyn Waterfront


    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today opened the newest segment of Brooklyn Bridge Park. This 1.5-acre segment was converted from a parking lot into lush green parkland as part of a far-reaching City/State plan to transform a 1.3-mile stretch of the formerly industrial Brooklyn waterfront. In July of 2001, work began to provide increased public access to Brooklyn’s historic waterfront, and today’s opening celebrated the $6.6 million, city-funded renovation of this portion of the park. The Mayor and Governor were joined by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Deputy Mayor for Administration Patricia E. Harris, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles Gargano at a press conference at the park.

    “The opening of this critical portion of Brooklyn Bridge Park is a prime example of this administration’s commitment to providing unprecedented public access to New York City’s waterfront,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “This project is an important step in the Brooklyn Bridge Park development process and will provide new recreational opportunities at the water’s edge for thousands of New Yorkers of all ages.”

    “Over the last eight years, we have established the Hudson River Park, protecting 550 acres of open space along the Hudson, and two new parks along the East River, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn,” Governor Pataki said. “Reclaiming the waterfront is a right of all New Yorkers, and the opening of this newest section of Brooklyn Bridge Park underscores our commitment to opening up our waterfronts and making available new recreational opportunities for scores of New Yorkers while preserving our state's unique natural and cultural resources, and building on our commitment to promoting urban greenspace and waterfront for the people of New York City and visitors to the region.”

    “This is Brooklyn at its best. When we reclaim our waterfront, we reclaim our past while ensuring our future. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something that will out last all of us here today, which is why I was thrilled to be able to help fund this historic project,” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said. “This park is a great example of what can happen when government and the community work hand in hand creating an unmatched urban oasis.”

    “Brooklyn's historic shore is being reclaimed by the people of New York City,” Commissioner Benepe said. "This park is the most significant public project on the Brooklyn waterfront since Robert Moses created Shore Parkway in the 1930s. It will stand alongside Prospect Park as one of the most important open spaces in Brooklyn. We encourage all city dwellers to take a break from the hectic pace of city life at Brooklyn's latest green gem.”

    “It is wonderful to have watched the conversion from this parking lot to this spectacular park in such a short period of time. It truly is a symbol for all us about the future of the Brooklyn Bridge Park and our city,” said Marianna Koval, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition.

    The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has stabilized and reconstructed the shoreline, using large granite boulders to replace the rubble. On the southern edge, the rocks were pulled back to create public access to the water. Large granite steps and a pedestrian path lead to the scenic viewing spot. A new plaza with bluestone paving and special seating links Brooklyn Bridge Park to Empire Stores/ Fulton Ferry State Park, serving as an entranceway for both green spaces. Native shoreline plantings have improved the wildlife habitat at the river’s edge. Trees, shrubs and wildflowers have also been planted. Pedestrian paths, new sidewalks, benches, fencing, park lighting and a nautical flagpole make Brooklyn Bridge Park even more enjoyable for all New Yorkers.

    The children’s play area has a nautical theme, featuring a 50-foot ship’s hull and a spray shower shaped like a paddle wheel ferry. The playground segment of the project was completed in December 2001, just five months after the groundbreaking. The next phase of construction extends the waterfront experience and is expected to start in fall of 2003.

    This new park lies within the historic district of Fulton Ferry, now known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges Overpasses). When the first commercial ferry service between Long Island and New Amsterdam started in 1642, this neighborhood was established as a hub for maritime commerce. From 1850 to 1912 the Catharine Slip Ferry carried passengers from Main Street – the site of this project – to the shores of Manhattan. With the completion of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges in 1883 and 1902, ferry service dwindled, but the Brooklyn waterfront remained an active port for many years.

    The decline of maritime commerce coupled with a surge in the area’s residential population helped to inspire the creation of this waterfront park. In 2002, the efforts of the Local Development Corporation and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, along with elected officials, and community residents spurred the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC) officially formed by Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki. The BBPDC, a subsidiary if the Empire State Development Corporation, is creating a master plan for a 1.3-mile park stretching from the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Avenue on City, State and Port Authority properties.

    Any commercial development of the balance of the land will be guided in character and quality by the Master Plan with all revenues dedicated to the operation and maintenance of the park. In addition to green space for active and passive recreational uses, the park will include indoor recreational and cultural facilities and commercial retail such as shops and restaurants along with the possibility of additional development. Plans call for the development of sports fields, playgrounds, fishing piers, promenades, and other recreation space, as well as green spaces, a hotel and conference center, as well as restaurants.

    Last Spring, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation retained a team lead by Landscape Archiect Michael Van Valkenburgh, former Chair of Harvard's Landscape Architecture Division, to create a design for Brooklyn Bridge Park. Van Valkenburgh's projects include the redesign of Washington DC's Pennsylvania Avenue, Teardrop Park in Battery Park City and Pittsburgh's Allegheny Waterfront Park.

    The BBPDC is comprised of eleven directors, six appointed by the Governor and five appointed by the Mayor. Members appointed by the Governor are Chairman Charles Gargano (ex-officio), Commissioner Bernadette Castro (ex officio), Julio Mercado, John Watts, David Offensend and Valerie Lancaster Beal. Those board members appointed by the Mayor are Vice-Chairman Daniel Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Commissioner Benepe, Joanne Witty, and Gilbert Rivera. James Moogan, who has more than two decades of service with New York State Parks, is the Development Corporation's Executive Director.

    CONTACT:

    Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958

    Lisa Stoll / Mollie Fullington (Governor) (212) 681-4640

    Megan Sheekey (Parks & Recreation)
    (212) 360-1311

  5. #5
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    Oh yes, the NYC waterfront is coming together niceely.

    Hudson River Park, Riverside Park South (Trump), Brooklyn Bridge Park, Queens West, Greenpoint/Williamsburg rezoning, and various other waterfront initiatives are going to make NYC such a better place. It's amazing it's been so neglected for so long.

  6. #6

    Default The Steel structure

    The steel structure that's rising on the uplands of the pier is unfortunately a ventilation tower for the subway running beneath it. It promises to be quite an eyesore in the Park huh? Sad that the MTA didn't see fit to collaborate with the park planners before they barreled ahead with it. It seems a compromise could have been reached (I mean, how necessary can this big structure be if the subways have been running 100 years without it?)

  7. #7

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    So has the plan for access from the promenade been eliminated?
    There was nothing mentioned in the park coalition newsletter, and only this on the park website:

    It is envisioned that a vertical connection up from the Park to the Promenade could be created at Montague or Remsen Streets.
    Since you live in the neighborhood, you're going to have to become our park reporter.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    So has the plan for access from the promenade been eliminated?
    There was nothing mentioned in the park coalition newsletter, and only this on the park website:

    It is envisioned that a vertical connection up from the Park to the Promenade could be created at Montague or Remsen Streets.
    Since you live in the neighborhood, you're going to have to become our park reporter.

    I'm proud to be nominated. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Coaltion holds meetings the first Thursday of every month. I'll make more of an effort to attend (I go sometimes).

    I'm thinking the Promenade connection on the website is an outdated idea. The community is very loath to futz with the Promenade (understandably and it is a landmark, which will present difficulties). There is a proposal for a vertical entrance off the north end of the Promenade, at Squibb park (a tiny basketball park. I expect this will be the only access point from the promenade.

    One exciting development is the Port Authority has asked for development proposals for Piers 6-12, as they're perparing to relinquish them. The BBPC has jumped all over pier 6 as Atlantic Avenue dead-ends into it. This could provide a grand public entrance to the park, from a busy commerical street.

    This will offset much of the community opposition that centered on lack of access points. The only major access points were at Front street, a fairly busy commerical street, and Jorealemon st., a small cobblestone brownstone street. Many local residents feared traffic from the park would overwhelm the small, quiet street of the Heights.

    Pier 6 would provide a major southern access point for the southern neighborhoods, Cobble Hill, Carrol Gardens, Red Hook, etc. Politics seem to garantee Pier 6 will go to the Park.

    A major Cruise line (Carnival? Celebrity? I forget) has expressed interest in docking at Pier 7. It looks likely they'll get it.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarknt67
    A major Cruise line (Carnival? Celebrity? I forget) has expressed interest in docking at Pier 7.
    Carnival. See the thread Cruises from Brooklyn?

  10. #10
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    Carnival better get it. That would be a MAJOR screw up if they let that project slip away.

  11. #11

    Default Trolleys Return To Brooklyn!

    from NY POST

    GETTING ON RIGHT TRACK IN B'KLYN


    By GERSH KUNTZMAN
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    November 17, 2003 -- THE Dodgers may never return, but the trolleys that gave the team its name could be coming back to the streets of Brooklyn for the first time in more than 40 years.

    This stunning news was buried in a presentation made last week by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, which is building a $150 million, 70-acre patch of green along the Brooklyn waterfront.

    The park is going to be magnificent - "One of the greatest urban parks in the world!" according to Borough President Marty Markowitz - except for one flaw: It winds 1.3 miles from Atlantic Avenue to Vinegar Hill.

    Which is why a trolley would be perfect.

    "A trolley would connect the southern and northern ends of the park," said Michael Van Valkenburgh, who will be designing the park. "There's a guy in Red Hook who has trolleys that would be perfect."

    That "guy" is none other than Bob Diamond, who has been dreaming, begging, petitioning, agitating and otherwise pining for a trolley that would link Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn.

    Diamond sunk more than $400,000 and two decades into his dream - but succeeded in sinking only a half-mile of trolley track.


    He has two more miles of track - plus 17 working trolley cars - but they're all about to be junked.

    "I'd love to make them available - but I mean, like, immediately," Diamond told The Post. "My landlord has given me until [today] or else he's going to sell my cars for scrap."

    You don't have to be an overpaid urban planner to see the appeal of a new Brooklyn trolley.

    For one thing, it's historic (the name of the borough's celebrated baseball team is a shortened form of the term "trolley dodgers").

    For another, what's the use of spending $150 million on a park - or hundreds of millions more on reviving Downtown Brooklyn - if no one can get around it?

    The proposed trolley would run along Furman Street and under the Brooklyn Bridge along Front Street.

    With a little more vision - and a little more money - it could be extended to Cadman Plaza, where six subway lines come together.

    And you could complete the loop by having the trolley pass through the long-abandoned tunnel under Atlantic Avenue to the river - a tunnel Diamond discovered years ago.

    "This is what I've been saying all along!" Diamond said. "But you know how it is: Every person who was ahead of his time has always ended up jumping off a bridge and being recognized after they're dead. I don't want that."


    gersh.kuntzman@verizon.net

  12. #12

    Default Trolleys

    An excellent idea that has been kicked around. Ecologically desirable, and a good answer to concerns about increased foot and car traffic the park would cause.

  13. #13

    Default

    An article on Bob Diamond's trolley travails in this thread.

    Furman St

  14. #14

    Default Park Master Plan

    In case anyone's interested there's a master plan for the park posted here:

    http://www.bbpdc.org/Process/Session...n_summary.html

    What's there is the original master plan as produced 2 years ago. There have been changes and revisions based on community feedback. (One thing that changed for sure was they've abandoned the idea of making the tidal pool a grassy marsh. Local environmental activists convinced park planners that the current ecosystem was rich enough and shouldn't be tampered with.)

  15. #15

    Default Trolleys

    An excellent idea that has been kicked around. Ecologically desirable, and a good answer to concerns about increased foot and car traffic the park would cause.

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