Officials: Pier 3 groundbreaking a milestone for Brooklyn Bridge Park
Officials praise outgoing BBP President Myer
Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) leaders and elected officials on Wednesday didn’t let the drone of helicopters taking off from the heliport across the river interrupt a sun-blessed groundbreaking ceremony on Pier 3.
The pier, currently a five-acre slab of cracked concrete on the waterfront at the center of the 85-acre park, will be the final pier to be transformed into parkland.
Expected to be completed in spring 2018, the refurbished pier will include a central lawn, a flexible “hardscape” area for recreation and programming, and a play labyrinth for all ages featuring elements salvaged from the park.
Outgoing park President Regina Myer recalled when the land the park rests on was “still a barren stretch of industrial wasteland.
“Today, 330,000 visitors enjoy our waterfront every week and now they’ll have Pier 3 — a beautiful central lawn and a fabulous play space that will transform this five acre concrete platform,” she said.
Speakers lauded Myer for completing or initiating 90 percent of the park construction during her tenure.
“Today is a significant milestone because we’re going to break ground on the last of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s great piers,” said BBP Conservancy Executive Director Nancy Webster.
“But today is also memorable as we salute outgoing Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer,” Webster said. She thanked Myer for “leaving us with a park that is beautiful, that is vibrant, and that brings joy to millions of visitors and New York City residents each year.”
State Senator Daniel Squadron, who has clashed with BBP officials over the need for controversial development projects in the park, was full of praise for the Pier 3 launch.
“I think that everyone here knows that Regina and I have not always agreed,” Squadron said. “I was a little nervous when I had to sign a waiver on my way out to the pier today,” he added as the crowd, including Myer, laughed.
“But that’s also part of the process,” he said. “Through that process, Regina Myer has been the builder of Brooklyn Bridge Park.”
Councilmember Stephen Levin praised city officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who did not attend the groundbreaking, for their work in building the park and said that Myer was “setting in motion the completion of one of the final, much anticipated open spaces at BBP.”
As president of BBP, Myer demanded excellence, said park designer Michael Van Valkenburgh.
“Landscape architects and designers, we only do well if we get a kick in the ass when we need it and Regina does that as well as anybody, and I thank her for it” he said, as he turned to give Myer a hug.
Capital funding for the $26 million pier was included in the city’s FY17 budget.
Video by Mary Frost
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