After 25 years of determined and passionate advocacy by Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Fulton Ferry, Vinegar Hill, DUMBO and Downtown Brooklyn communities, it is with great pride and excitement that I can say on their behalf, “Brooklyn Bridge Park is open!” Opening Pier 1 today is one extraordinary moment built on years of dedicated planning, designing and dreaming. Community members, elected officials, government agencies, civic organizations, and business leaders all contributed incredible vision and tenacity in this effort and sustained it for decades to arrive at today’s opening. I’m so proud to take down the construction gates on their behalf and welcome them and the legions of visitors that will benefit from this collective, grass roots effort.
The Pier 1 you see today at Brooklyn Bridge Park is nearly unrecognizable from its last incarnation as a busy shipping pier.
140,000 tons of clean fill from the East Side Access tunneling project have provided us with 20-foot hills on which to take in the views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the vast expanse of New York harbor. Varied species of trees and flowering shrubs, as well as acres of grass flourish where pier sheds once stood. A playground welcomes children to the pier for the first time.
And so today I inaugurate the blog of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which I hope will be an opportunity to bring the individual voices of the park to the forefront to help convey the wonder and joy of this great new place.
Future blog entries will feature many of the people who are contributing to this remarkable place – whether through design, planning, construction, programming or documentation. Brooklyn Bridge Park, the ultimate “recycled park,” is just now taking its place in the lives of Brooklynites, New Yorkers and this great borough’s visitors. The blog will be one opportunity to document its evolving role as the borough’s front yard and to give you an insider’s peek at Brooklyn’s newest destination.
See you at the park!