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 time was the biggest cocoa port in the country. Rows of huts to store the raw coffee that was offloaded were located where the Water Lab, Sandbox Village and Slide Mountain are now. Apparently the smell from the raw coffee was awful. Who knew?
- Strober Brothers Lumber at Pier 3 Lumber and building supplies company that occupied Pier 3.
- 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.
- Secret Service Vehicles at Pier 6 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 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.