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Columbia University Press to Publish a Book on the History of Brooklyn Bridge Park


Contact: Rachel Fletcher, Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, 718-802-0603

For Immediate Release

BROOKLYN, February 10, 2014 – The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy is pleased to announce it has entered into a contract with Columbia University Press to publish a book on the planning, development and social history of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The book will describe the park’s evolution during the past three decades from the dilapidated piers and abandoned warehouses that cluttered the shore of the East River in the mid-1980s to the vast, green, award-winning public space that occupies the Brooklyn waterfront today.

Each stage in the park’s history– from the spontaneous efforts of concerned citizens during the mid-1980s to resist the commercial development of the piers to the collaborations and controversies that accompanied the design and funding of the park over the next two decades to the ongoing expansion of the park today – will be told through the voices and perspectives of the neighborhood leaders, community activists, political officials, staff members, architects and designers who were involved firsthand in the process.

"We are delighted to partner with Columbia University Press to publish a history of Brooklyn Bridge Park," said Nancy Webster, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. "The Conservancy was born from the grassroots movement to build the park, and we are excited to tell the story of how a visionary and passionate community spearheaded a movement and worked with government to build the park we love today."

"The journey of Brooklyn Bridge Park from community vision to reality is a story worth telling," said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. "I can’t wait to read it!"

"We are very excited to be working with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy on this history of the park," said Philip Leventhal, Editor at Columbia University Press. "It will be a great addition to Columbia University Press's New York City list. The book will not only celebrate what the park has brought to New York but help readers understand the complexities of how citizen groups, government, and other organizations can come together to effect change."

The book, which is scheduled for publication in 2015, will be written by Nancy Webster, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, and writer David Shirley, author of A Good Death (Addison-Wesley), B.B. King: Every Day I Sing the Blues (Franklin Watts Publishers), Thomas Nast: Cartoonist and Illustrator (Grolier Publishing), and Mississippi (Cavendish Square Publishing), and journalist who has written for Spin, Rolling Stone, Oxford American and The Brooklyn Rail.

 Enjoyed by over 1,000,000 visitors per year, Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park stretching 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline. The park features expansive lawns, waterfront promenades, innovative playgrounds, a greenway, sports facilities and spectacular views of lower Manhattan and New York Harbor. Brooklyn Bridge Park was designed by the award-winning firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, known as Brooklyn Bridge Park, is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of the park.


About Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy has worked for over 25 years to bring Brooklyn Bridge Park to life. We started out as grassroots advocates, bringing together residents, government, and local supporters to transform an abandoned waterfront into the park you see today. Now as the park’s lead steward, we work in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to ensure that the park reaches its full potential as a dynamic and vibrant public space for Brooklyn, New York City, and beyond. The Conservancy produces diverse and innovative programming for park visitors and cultivates volunteer and philanthropic support of this special place on the Brooklyn waterfront. Since 2000, close to 1,000,000 visitors have enjoyed the Conservancy’s free, public programs in the beginnings of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

About Columbia University Press

Columbia University Press was founded in 1893. With nearly 120 years of continuous publishing activities, it is the fourth-oldest university press in America. Notable highlights in its history include the publication of the Columbia Encyclopedia in 1935, the acquisition of The Columbia Granger’s Index to Poetry in 1945, the introduction of the three Sources anthologies of Chinese, Japanese, and Indian classic works in the 1950s, and, over the years, the publication of works by numerous eminent thinkers, including Theodor Adorno, David Bordwell, Judith Butler, Michel Chion, Rey Chow, Arthur Danto, Todd Gitlin, Mikhail Gorbachev, John Rawls, Richard Rorty, Philip Rosen, Jeffrey Sachs, Joseph Stiglitz, Hervé This, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. For more information see:


For a PDF of this press release, please click here.

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Mailing Address: 334 Furman Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
tel: (718) 222-9939
fax: (718) 222-9258

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