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Brooklyn Bridge Park Breaks Ground on Final Section of Park

The space underneath the Brooklyn Bridge will be known as Emily Roebling Plaza

by Brooklyn Bridge Park on December 9,2020

Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) today broke ground on the space underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. This project will complete the Park as originally planned and will pay tribute to the rich history of the Brooklyn Bridge. The new section of parkland will be named in honor of Emily Roebling, the engineer known for her work ensuring the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge.

This area will be transformed into a flexible public space that will add two acres of parkland and connect the DUMBO section of Brooklyn Bridge Park with the southern piers. The space will consist of a large hardscape area which will feature unique concrete pavers that will echo the design and engineering of the Bridge, and be surrounded by trees, benches, and lawns. The adjacent Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn will also undergo a much needed renovation. The project also includes the installation of over one hundred protective bollards stretching from Old Fulton Street and Furman Street to Water Street and New Dock Street.

“Park space is more important than ever as New Yorkers continue to practice social distancing and spend more time outdoors,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I am thrilled that Emily Roebling’s work to complete to the Brooklyn Bridge will be immortalized at Brooklyn Bridge Park, and I look forward to seeing this wonderful space serving New Yorkers for generations to come.”

“In the course of a decade, Brooklyn Bridge Park has become an iconic destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike,” said Deputy Mayor Vicki Been, “We are thrilled to be breaking ground on the final section of the Park which will add two more acres during a time when open space is so critical. I can’t think of a more fitting name and I am so pleased that Emily Roebling’s remarkable accomplishments will be honored at this site.”

“This year marks the 10th anniversary of Brooklyn Bridge Park being open to the public, and today’s groundbreaking kicks off the construction of the final section of parkland. We look forward to enjoying a completed Park that flows seamlessly from north to the south, a significant milestone the Park, as well as the amazing opportunity to revel in the rich history of the Brooklyn Bridge. Once completed this space will be a keystone for the Park and we are thrilled to honor Emily Roebling’s work by naming it for her,” said Eric Landau, Brooklyn Bridge Park President.

“On the tenth anniversary of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s opening, I can see few better ways to celebrate, than by commemorating one of our nation’s groundbreaking and vital engineers,” said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. “This final portion of the park, to be named Emily Roebling Plaza, will mark the completion of the park and transform a once underutilized space into a thriving public plaza. As this last stage begins, I can see the heart and history of Brooklyn echoed in the landscape. I eagerly await the completion of this project, and a time when families can return to enjoy this marvelous public parkland.”

“Brooklyn Bridge Park has become a powerful symbol of our borough’s renewal over the past decade, revitalizing our waterfront, drawing foreign visitors and local residents alike to take in its natural beauty, and offering diverse recreational opportunities. With the groundbreaking of this last section, we are finally fulfilling a vision that has been decades in the making. I have been proud to allocate more than $4.1 million in capital funding towards the completion of the park during my tenure, including $1.5 million specifically to the Plaza area, and thank Brooklyn Bridge Park and all local stakeholders for bringing this project to fruition,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

“It is always a pleasure to celebrate the creation of more parkland in our communities, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made us especially aware of just how vital and necessary our parks are, as New Yorkers seek fresh air, exercise, and inspiration, while adhering to public health guidelines,” said State Senator Brian Kavanagh, who represents the waterfront area that encompasses Brooklyn Bridge Park. “Today’s groundbreaking is particularly exciting because it marks the start of construction for the final section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will allow visitors to fully enjoy all aspects of the park that was promised over a decade ago. And the choice to rename this space after Emily Roebling, one of the engineers who was a driving force behind the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge more than a century ago, is a wonderful way to preserve the history of this great borough. Thank you to Brooklyn Bridge Park, to my colleagues in government, and to the many community advocates and supporters who have made this park the wonderful place that it has become and who are always working to make it even better.”

“Today marks a special occasion, as Brooklyn Bridge Park breaks ground on the final section of parkland underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. I couldn’t be happier that this area of the park will be named after Emily Roebling, a persistent woman ahead of her time, and will recognize her incredible work completing the Brooklyn Bridge. Thanks to the ‪Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation for continuing to improve and beautify our waterfront,” said Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon.

“I have seen this land on our waterfront develop into a flourishing park over the years, with committed leadership from the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, the City and State, and the tireless efforts and advocacy of the Community Advisory Council and stakeholders engaged in this process from the outset,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “The plaza beneath the Brooklyn Bridge marks the final section of Brooklyn Bridge Park to be completed, transforming inactive space for purposes which serve the public at large. Most notably, this new and aptly-named section of the park directly beneath the Brooklyn Bridge will be named in honor of Emily Warren Roebling, who was responsible for completing the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. An ever-critical component, the installation of protective bollards, will ensure safe pedestrian use and enjoyment of this Brooklyn treasure.”

“New Yorkers need our parks more than ever right now, for recreation, exercise and connection while we try to maintain social distance to keep each other healthy,” said Council Member Brad Lander. I’m looking forward appreciating the groundbreaking work of the new section’s namesake Emily Roebling during long walks and rides in the completed Brooklyn Bridge Park.”

“Brooklyn Bridge Park complements the Fulton Ferry Historic District with its beautiful greenery and offers the finest views of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan skyline,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Sarah Carroll. “This project, approved by the Commission, will strengthen the relationship between the significant historic buildings along Old Fulton Street and the waterfront and make the base of the Brooklyn Bridge tower and the waterfront more visually accessible and pedestrian friendly.”

“Emily Roebling Plaza will continue in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s tradition of welcoming New Yorkers to the waterfront. It has been an honor designing this civic landscape for nearly twenty years and fitting that the final piece be completed beneath the park’s namesake, said Michael Van Valkenburgh, President and CEO of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.”

“It’s a true joy to see that the exact physical location which my great-great grandmother Emily called her workspace for over a decade will now be adorned with her name. I think that she would be delighted.” said Kriss Roebling, great-great grandson of Emily Roebling.

“We congratulate our partners at Brooklyn Bridge Park on this monumental achievement. In tandem with the 10 year anniversary this year, it is an exciting moment for everyone who has supported this vision from the beginning,” said Nancy Webster, Executive Director of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. “Now more than ever, Brooklyn Bridge Park is a vital resource for the community, serving as a place of joy, wonder, exploration, and respite for thousands of New Yorkers.”

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