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5 Previous Occupants of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Waterfront

The rich history of the Brooklyn waterfront that makes up Brooklyn Bridge Park spans back decades, long before the waterfront had bike paths and green spaces, and before the piers were home to soccer fields, basketball courts and grassy lawns. The area has changed a lot over the years, and so have the occupants of the area. Here are just a few of the occupants who once called the Brooklyn waterfront that makes up our Park home.

American Stevedoring Coffee at Pier 6

At one it time was one of the busiest coffee ports in the country. Rows of huts that stored raw coffee were located where the Water Lab, Sandbox Village and Slide Mountain are now. Apparently, the smell from the raw coffee was awful. Who knew?
Aerial view of the piers prior to the park construction.

Strober Brothers Lumber at Pier 3

View of the piers prior to park construction with lower Manhattan in the background.

© Murrye Bernard

Lumber and building supplies company that occupied Pier 3.
Murrye Bernard

New York Dock Company

In the early 1900s, New York Dock Company owned the two and a half-mile stretch of piers, warehouses, and train tracks between the Brooklyn Bridge and Red Hook’s Erie Basin. Next time you pass the Brooklyn Bridge Park offices on Furman Street, look for the old New York Dock Company placard that is still visible.

Concrete post with plaque that says "New York Dock co. 1917"
Secret Service Vehicles at Pier 6

Secret service SUVs driving on a road.

© Christian Aslund

Black SUVs used by the Secret Service for transporting and protecting the president when he traveled to New York City were once stored in Pier 6 where the Flower Field and sand volleyball courts are now.

Empire Stores

Old photo of man driving a car beside a historic building.

© Brooklyn Historical Society

A complex of seven contiguous four- and five-story historic warehouses constructed in the late 1800s. Empire Stores held a wide variety of merchandise, including sugar, molasses, animal hides, wool, palm oil and rubber from all around the world. Abandoned in the 1960s, the historic warehouses were closed for over 50 year until they were redeveloped and reopened in 2016.

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