Brooklyn Heights

VIDEO: Brooklyn Bridge Park cuts the green ribbon to open 3.4 acres at Pier 5

July 6, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Officials cut the ribbon (from left): Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, state Sen. Daniel Squadron, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, BBP President Eric Landau, Borough President Eric Adams, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver, and Brooklyn Bridge Park members Joanne Witty, Edna Wells Handy and William Vinicombe. Photos by Mary Frost
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Now there’s more of Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) to love. On Thursday officials cut the ribbon to open 3.4 new acres of lawns, a shaded picnic grove and meandering paths around a grassy sound-blocking berm, nestled in the uplands just east of the Picnic Peninsula at Pier 5.

This brings the park’s construction to more than 80 percent complete, BBP said in a statement Thursday. The underlying design principal is to provide a “restful counterpoint to the activities at the adjacent Pier 5 sports fields and Picnic Peninsula,” the park said.

What follows is a statement from BBP:

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

Capital funding for the new parkland was secured through allocations from the City of New York. BBP President Eric Landau was joined by Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, state Sen. Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, Councilmember Levin and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver.

“With the park now 80 percent complete, today marks an important milestone for Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Eric Landau, BBP president. “Today’s opening is a great way to kick off the summer season and we know the Pier 5 uplands will become a popular attraction for all park visitors.”

“We are so thrilled to officially open the Pier 5 uplands, adding another 3.4 acres of new parkland just in time for summer,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. “Our administration will keep working every day to keep this park on strong footing so it won’t just keep expanding, but will remain clean, safe and well-cared-for for generations to come.”

“Parks and recreational spaces are places for serenity and healing, and we should expand access to them for all Brooklynites,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “I commend Brooklyn Bridge Park for its commitment to providing much-needed green space along the Brooklyn Waterfront with this new additional acreage. As the pieces of the puzzle of the park come together to near completion, I hope all Brooklynites take advantage of this beautiful space and its wonderful views of the Brooklyn Bridge.”

Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and BBP President Eric Landau.

“For so many New Yorkers, visitors and families, Brooklyn Bridge Park serves as a place to relax and enjoy outdoor recreation,’ said Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY). “The new Pier 5 uplands is equipped with terraced lawns and restful seating areas, which will be enjoyed by Brooklyn residents and all those who visit. I applaud all those at Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation who made today’s opening possible.”

“Today, I am thrilled to celebrate the opening of new parkland at the Pier 5 uplands in ‪Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon. “Visitors can now enjoy expanded parkland with sloped and terraced lawns, a grove with additional seating, and sound-attenuating hills. This new restful area of the park complements its already bustling sports and picnic areas, making our treasured park even better. Thanks to the City of New York and the ‪Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation for continuing to improve and beautify our waterfront.”

Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, BBP President Eric Landau and state Sen. Daniel Squadron.

“The Pier 5 uplands are bringing even more parkland to one of New York’s world-class waterfront parks — and just in time for summer,” said state Sen. Squadron. “Brooklyn Bridge Park continues to be a wonderful part of New York’s Harbor Park — a Central Park for the center of our city. Thank you to Eric Landau and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp, City, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and my colleagues in government.”

“Creating more green space for the community to enjoy is no small feat,” said Councilmember Stephen Levin. “Acre by acre, an accessible oasis from the hustle and bustle of city living is taking shape. This is a space for everyone in Brooklyn – from anywhere and of any age. I applaud Brooklyn Bridge Park for its commitment to this vision, and I look forward to more great open space to come.”

Rebecca Roddick, director of horticulture at BBP, and her son Milo meander across a swath of the newly opened area upland of Pier 5 in BBP.

“NYC Parks is proud to be a part of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s exciting journey toward completion, as it continues to evolve into one of New York City’s premiere park destinations,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “The new Pier 5 space is sure to be a haven for park-goers to cool off and relax amidst the hustle and bustle of downtown Brooklyn, and we look forward to seeing it come to life this summer. Thanks to our partners at Brooklyn Bridge Park and our dedicated elected officials for investing in this beloved shared public space.”

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver and Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.

Michael Van Valkenburgh, president and CEO of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. said, “The Pier 5 Uplands is a particularly exciting moment in the incremental construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Terraced lawns and a shaded picnic grove are linked by meandering paths and cradled in the final portion of the park’s sound attenuation berm, making this site a tranquil and expansive counterpoint to the more actively programmed water’s edge landscape of Pier 5.”

“The Pier 5 uplands will add beautiful lawns and seating space to our already vibrant park,” said Nancy Webster, executive director of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. “We’re excited to see this section come to life, and we look forward to welcoming more visitors to the waterfront.”

BBP’s designers, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, continue to use the park’s material palette of rocky rip rap, wooden benches and salvaged granite. Topographic changes echo the design language found throughout the Park with elevations increasing by 10 to 15 feet to create dynamic changes in how visitors perceive the River and the views to the Harbor. The design also includes the second of the Park’s sound-attenuating hills. The 35 foot long berm is designed to mitigate noise from the adjacent Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Additional amenities will be available to visitors when work is completed this fall. Set into the hillside will be a new boathouse that includes public restrooms. A new access point will be created at the Montague Street Turnaround. Finally, a new building will provide critical work space for BBP’s Maintenance and Operations teams at the southern end of the park.

From left: Lisa Bruno, mom Rebecca Roddick and Milo Roddick, age 3. (Bruno is Milo’s teacher.) Roddick, director of horticulture at BBP, said the park is looking to hire another full time and seasonal gardener. Photos by Mary Frost


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