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Thread: Brooklyn Bridge Park - by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates

  1. #346


    BROOKLYN WATERFRONT — If it is possible to create a “surprise” park of more than half an acre, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation is doing just that.

    Marianna Koval, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, at a scheduled presentation before Community Board 2, informed a rather startled crowd that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, responsible for creating and building the new waterfront park, would build a summer park at the very tip of the now-empty Pier 1, near the Brooklyn Bridge. She spoke on Wednesday, June 11.

    This new park will offer unsurpassed views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and just about everything else. In a rather small setting, it will give everyone a clue as to what to expect when the full 76-acre park is completed.

    This new waterfront park, which one could call the Brooklyn Edge Park, also will give viewers a close view of one of the summer waterfalls created by Olafur Eliasson, located under the nearby Brooklyn Bridge. (A second waterfall will be located off Pier 4 and 5, further down.)

    The park will open Thursday, June 26, the same day the water starts falling, and will remain open until Labor Day.

    The park, which will begin near the foot of Old Fulton Street near Bargemusic, will have a total area of 26,419 square feet. It won’t be just a viewing area.

    There will be four sod mounds with a slight elevation to improve viewing and to give children something to roll down on. There will be more than 1,700 square feet of sand. This “beach” will have a perimeter of 182 feet. Four trees will be planted to provide shade. There also will be 10 benches and 10 picnic tables scattered about on both sides of the beach area.

    There will be 1,351 bales of hay acting as a perimeter fence. They will be seeded for grass to grow. (During the demolition of the pier sheds, hay bales have been used to collect dust and light debris. These hay bales will continue to serve that purpose as well as an adornment to the park.)

    The Rice restaurant, which has become a fixture in DUMBO and more recently in Fort Greene, will operate a concession stand in the park. Of course, close by are two first-class restaurants, the River Cafe and Pete’s Downtown; two pizza restaurants and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

    As with the floating pool last summer, the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront Local Development Corporation, which created the park’s first master plan, will operate a free shuttle bus service from the Borough Hall area. The park will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.

    This novel park was conceived and will be built by the Development Corporation under the leadership of Regina Myer. It will be operated by the Conservancy, as was the floating pool last summer. The landscape architect is Brooklyn-based dlandstudio, which has also created some unique landscape treatments along the Gowanus Canal.

    Koval also gave a general overview of planned construction in the Pier 1 area, the upland areas from piers 1 to 6, and then piers 5 and 6 themselves.

    The Purchase Building, located underneath Brooklyn Bridge, will be demolished later in the summer.

  2. #347


    Stopped by the neighborhood to pick up some friends yesterday morning, took a stroll down the promenade and snapped these. With some of the sheds removed, you get a sense of all the space.

    Pier 1 is cleared

    Pier 2 used as field office

    Pier 3 almost dismantled. Pier 4 will remain as an artifact.

    MTA building will remain.

    Pier 5 demolition also almost complete. Still intact Pier 6 in the distance.

  3. #348


    Great pictures Zippy. Thanks.

    What a view this park is going to have!! I can't wait to see it completely finished.

  4. #349


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post

    The building in the foreground is gone.

  5. #350
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    This park makes me want to move to Brooklyn

  6. #351

    Default New playground in Brooklyn Bridge Park set to open in fall 2009

    A breathtaking 13-foot slide. A wading area with spray jets and running water. Swings set among meandering paths and grassy knolls.

    These are just some of the fun-filled features Brooklyn kids can look forward to when the borough's biggest new playground opens in the fall of 2009 at the foot of Atlantic Ave. on the East River.

    "It's actually a slide mountain," said Regina Myer, head planner behind upcoming Brooklyn Bridge Park, where the new playground will be located.

    "It's going to be a fabulous swing area too," she said, adding that planners expect the greenery-filled play space to draw families from across the city. "This isn't a cookie-cutter playground."

    Pint-sized visitors will also be able to play in several small huts in another area surrounded by animal sculptures and climbing rocks.

    They will also be able to dig in a large sand zone next to a grouping of wooden bleacher-like benches for exhausted parents.

    "The kids will really get a good workout here," said Myer, adding that many spots, such as the sand area, are also handicapped accessible. "It's really intended to give children a lot of active play."

    The new 1.6-acre playground, set among lush landscaping, marks a key step in the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which when finished is slated to stretch from Pier 6 at Atlantic Ave. to north of the Manhattan Bridge.

    The ambitious project has been dogged by delays and ballooning costs dating back to the Pataki administration - which have more than doubled its original price tag of $150 million in 2002, while only a section in DUMBO has opened.

    It has also sparked outrage from critics who have filed a series of lawsuits to block controversial plans to build 1,200 units of luxury housing inside the public park to pay for its upkeep.

    But planners are now in the midst of demolition and are gearing up to build several key spots by the end of next year - even as they scramble to drum up more money to ensure the entire project can be finished.

    "There have been a lot of announcements, but the work is finally getting done," said Myer, who was tapped by former Gov. Eliot Spitzer to take over in December.

    Along with the new playground, the upcoming park at the entrance to Pier 6 will include a snack bar with roof-deck seating, sand volleyball courts and a dog run.

    However, because of budget shortfalls, most of Pier 6 itself will remain off limits for possibly years to come, since there is now no money to finish it - as well as about a third of the final park.

    By the end of 2009, planners are also hoping to open a sloping lawn at the other end of the park, at the foot of Old Fulton St.

    They also plan to complete a public plaza at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, which could feature ice skating, a farmer's market or Union Square-style art sellers.

    "We tried to prioritize the area closest to the community," said Myer.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #352


    More pictures of the park from the Daily News:

    Brooklyn Bridge Park is finally expected to cross from drawing board to reality. After endless delays
    and escalating costs, key parts of the long-awaited waterfront park will open by the end of 2009.

    By 2012, parkgoers also will be able to ride bikes along a 30-foot wide greenway from Old Fulton St.
    to Atlantic Ave. and picnic at a row of tables along the waterfront.

    Also by 2012, park visitors will be able to access the waterfront at a tidal inlet or relax
    on a series of wooden benches that doubles as a sound barrier to nearby traffic.
    Copyright 2008 New York Daily News

  8. #353


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    This park makes me want to move to Brooklyn
    Brooklyn rules!

  9. #354


    Quote Originally Posted by DarrylStrawberry View Post
    The building in the foreground is gone.
    You've still got the good eye, Straw Man.

    On the ground:

    Art exhibit or car ad?

    A big problem for the park will be access from the city grid. Furman St from Fulton to Atlantic Ave is 4200 feet. Joralemon St runs down to Furman, but it is too close to Atlantic, Joralemon to Fulton is more than half a mile.

    When Robert Moses built the BQE starting in 1946, he was forced to skirt Brooklyn Heights. While the neighborhood was saved, its connection to the waterfront was destroyed.

    Originally, almost all the east-west streets ran down to Furman. There was only one short stretch from Pineapple to Pierrepont where the bluff was too high. In the the 1850s, Montague St ran down to the ferry line at the river, and Penny Bridge spanned it. Cable-trolley was installed on the Montague slope in 1891. The ferry stopped service in 1812 because of competition from the subway, but the trolley continued until 1924. The bridge was destroyed in 1946.

    View down from the Heights.

    Early 20th century photo

    Squibb Playground from Furman St.

    A hint of what the area looked like before the BQE. Middagh St

    and Cranberry St

    would have continued down to the river. The steel overpass isn't the BQE; it's Columbia St spanning the highway.

    From here, the BQE hugs the waterfront until Atlantic Ave, where it turns inland.

    Sqibb Playground was named for Dr Edward Squibb (1819-1900) who lived on Middagh St. He was the founder of Squibb Pharmaceuticals, opening his first laboratory on Furman St. The city aquired the property in 1945 as part of the BQE project, The playground was named for Squibb in 1959.

    View of the site from the BH promenade.

    That's not a swimming pool, Place has been closed for ages.

    Below grade from Columbia St, accessed by ramps.

    I've heard both yes and no that a bridge will be built from the Squibb Playground across Furman St to access BBP from Columbia St.

    New tempy teaser park:

    Waterfalls are best viewed on edge, but they just don't make it.

  10. #355


    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    A big problem for the park will be access from the city grid.
    I couldn't agree more. If the waterfalls offer just a taste of the traffic BBP will attract, they are going to have to think of something...

    By the way, thanks for the historical Brooklyn Heights images. Cool stuff.

  11. #356
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Are hordes descending upon the park area to view the Falling Waters?

    If so, when is the WF zone crazy busy? And when -- within reason -- are there not loads of folks at waters' edge?

    I have visitors coming into town soon and would like to show them the WF from the Brooklyn side.

  12. #357


    Just noticed some extra images on Curbed.

    Boating Basin with Pier 4 Nature Island and Beach.

    This is the entrance from Fulton Ferry Landing, where tourists will enter after eating at Grimaldi's or getting a cone at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

    Atlantic Avenue Promenade and Playground.

    The park's entrance from Atlantic Avenue.

    This is what is called Brooklyn Bridge Plaza.

    These are the Pier 5 Recreation Fields.

    Movies on the lawn north of the Brooklyn Bridge.

  13. #358


    From: Brownstoner

    In case you didn't make it to Monday night's meeting on the future of Brooklyn Bridge Park, fear not! We've got some of the renderings up here and Curbed has some more. The two big take-aways from the meeting? 17 acres of new park land will be created by the end of 2009 and by 2012 two-thirds of the park should be complete. Wildest rendering? Number 5, the boating basin and nature island at Pier 4. (If this post is looking familiar, that's because it mistakenly went up last night.)

  14. #359


    Brooklyn Bridge Park Work Gets Under Way
    by Dennis Holt (, published online 06-30-2008

    Construction To Begin At Park’s North And South Ends

    By Dennis Holt
    Brooklyn Daily Eagle
    BROOKLYN WATERFRONT — For the first time in the long and checkered history of Brooklyn Bridge Park, an assembly of people heard a report detailing concrete steps to be taken at the park site. Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, at a meeting at Polytechnic’s Dibner Auditorium Monday night, is scheduled to sketch out which building plans are going into place for the next several months.

    There were those who thought they would never hear about a “construction schedule” for this waterfront park. But after so many starts and stops, such a schedule will be undertaken. The last legal issue brought by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, a group opposing the park, was dismissed on Friday, June 27.

    The first phase of the new plan will continue to dismantle the pier sheds that remain, or at least those parts not needed for the new park. After that, the 1930s-era Purchase Building underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, the first substantial building to be torn down, will be demolished this fall.

    Construction work will begin at Piers 1 and 6, the two entry points to the park, at the park’s north and south ends, respectively.

    New renderings show refinements from earlier plans for those piers. Much of Pier 1 will feature a rolling open space with a modest pool, an appealing entry area.

    The rendering also shows something no one has ever seen from the elevation of the drawing — open space on Pier 1 and a view underneath the Brooklyn Bridge, where the Purchase Building now stands. To the right of that drawing in the background is a depiction of the proposed hotel and residential units planned for that site. The Cold Storage Warehouse occupies that space now. Behind the trees, if one looks hard enough, one can see the slight elevation of one of the pedestrian exit paths from the Squibb Park footbridge to the park.

    What will go on Pier 6 has been completely rethought. It is now slated to have a grander entrance than earlier envisioned. What is now Atlantic Avenue beyond Furman Street will also be redesigned to feature activities of interest to children and families.

    Much of the pier will be occupied by a unique 1.6-acre playground, quite different from any in the city. It will have small huts for children to play in, stretches of sand, animal sculptures, climbing rocks, concession stands and the like.

    Planners obvioulsy intend to provide child-related activities and enjoyments near the entryways of the park rather than in its interior.

    It has become one of Myer’s axioms that the development phase of the park will precede whatever residential development takes place. Sources believe that the state will provide additional funding for park-related construction, as the city already has, in the coming months. Then, after enough of Piers 1 and 6 have been rebuilt, requests for proposals will go out for part of the residential development. Myer is pleased that already, even with some weekend rain, a great deal of attention has been paid to the new temporary park on part of Pier 1. “People will come to the park if there is something for them to come down to,” she said.

    There will be considerably more to come down to in the coming months.
    Last edited by DarrylStrawberry; July 6th, 2008 at 03:11 AM.

  15. #360


    Brooklyn Bridge Park Opponents Must Deal With Regina Myer
    by Dennis Holt (, published online 07-03-2008

    By Dennis Holt

    DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A major milestone was reached this week that many never thought would happen and some hoped never would: A construction schedule for building Brooklyn Bridge Park was unveiled.

    Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Development Corporation, which is part of the state Empire State Development Corporation, talked about this first-ever building schedule on Monday, June 30 before about 150 people.

    This first significant phase involving most of Piers 1 and Pier 6 will be completed in the fall of 2009. It will constitute 17 acres, which will be about 22 percent of the total park. To give an idea of the eventual size of this new waterfront park, the part of Pier 6 to be completed is about the size of Bryant Park in Manhattan.

    The major work on all the piers will be finished by the spring of 2012.

    Myer, a clear-eyed, no nonsense person, was formerly head of the Brooklyn Office of City Planning. She was the architect of the rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn and the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront.

    Now she is a builder and will approach the nuts and bolts of building this park with the same kind of ingenuity and attention to detail that she applied to the planning business. And she already had to show some fortitude during her presentation.

    There were opponents to the plan who still tried to make the case for an almost totally different park that would feature a large enclosed recreation area, a permanent swimming pool and a permanent ice-skating rink. The issues were raised, as they were five years ago during the discussion periods. Those who raised these ideas had to be reminded that they were not part of the approved plan and will not be built.

    Last week, the last small piece of any legal challenge to building the park was dismissed by the state court. But the opponents are making one final new effort, and it is a serious one.

    This time, it involves the ballot box.

    State Sen. Martin Connor of the 25th District, part of which is in Brooklyn and part of which is in Manhattan, is running for re-election. He has a young appealing opponent, a resident of Carroll Gardens named David Squadron, who has taken a position against parts of the park plan. Park opponents have already held fundraisers on his behalf.

    There are two reasons for this effort. One is retribution. Connor was the guy who took park planning out of the hands of the Brooklyn Heights Association and put together a new planning process. He got the money from the state to do this work, which led to the existing plan and helped get the state share of the original funding.

    Park opponents know that Connor has the clout and relationship with Gov. David Paterson to continue to get state funding during the next few years. Squadron won’t have that clout and wouldn’t ask for the money anyway.

    The Myer presentation on Monday at Polytechnic was as thorough as possible for now. There will be others, and a new community advisory committee will be formed. But even although she was forewarned, Myer was disappointed at the hostility that was evident from some in the audience and the sense of arrogance displayed.

    But unlike others in the past, it is doubtful she went home to Park Slope and shed a tear. Instead, she was more likely to have called the contractor and raised the prospects of finishing the next job a little faster.

    Surprising Park Attendance

    Can 10,932 people be wrong? That is the surprising number of people, adults and children, who have entered the provisional Pier 1 summer park since it opened on Thursday.

    Even with a rainy weekend, that number of people had been counted as having come to the park as of Monday night, June 30. At that pace, attendance will far surpass last year’s number going to the floating swimming pool.

    Last edited by DarrylStrawberry; July 6th, 2008 at 01:21 PM.

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