In the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, along the waterfront of the East River, the once busy Brooklyn waterfront consisted of six piers and defunct bulk cargo shipping and storage complexes, built by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the 1950s but rendered obsolete by the rise of container shipping in the 1980's. Left abandoned, the piers and buildings were an eyesore until neighborhood advocacy and government funding allowed the vision of turning this prime waterfront property into a park a reality for all to enjoy.
(All photos in my blog will enlarge if clicked on once, and then again when they re-open on a new page.)
Still under construction, the new Brooklyn Bridge Park is 85 acres of green space and recreational facilities, designed by landscape architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and will soon span 1.3 miles of post-industrial waterfront between north of the Manhattan Bridge and Atlantic Avenue.
This sign shows the areas of the park that has been completed colored in light blue, and the areas still under construction in the dark blue.
A bicycle rentals stand in the park.
The park encourages visitors "to stroll, bike, boat, learn and play amid the stunning views of the bridge, harbor and skyline."
You can have a picnic, using the tables provided...
...or by sitting on an expanse of lawn.
You can sit and admire the Manhattan skyline and watch the boat traffic go by in the East River....
....or walk along a series of paths on the waterfront that has an ever changing view to enjoy.
You can see views of New York Harbor...
...with the Statue of Liberty in the distance.
There are plenty of paths at different levels in the park...
....that are lined with trees and pocket gardens filled with native flowers and shrubs.
This collage shows some of the flowers I found along the park paths--Black eyed Susan daisies, wild pink roses, day lilies and even wild raspberries!
There are two innovative children's playgrounds located in the park.
This playground was smaller for young toddlers.
There are even free "Movies With A View" nights being held in the park thsi summer!
I had to include this photo of the eastern part of the park, as the building you see under construction in the background, with the cranes on top, is the new World Trade Center building. You can watch a video about the progress of the building and the 9-11 memorial waterfalls pools at this link.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park is still under construction, and it is projected that approximately two-thirds of the park will be completed by 2013. It will tie in with the existing Empire--Fulton Ferry Park, which is undergoing improvements including a Jean Nouvel-designed pavilion to house a restored 1922 carousel, which you can see in the sign above.
This aerial shot from the Buildipedia web site shows an artist interpretation of how the park will look when fully completed. It will include several floating pathways, boardwalks and beaches, fishing piers, and safe water for paddling in kayaks and canoes. There will also be 40 acres of recreational space including tennis, handball, basketball, and volleyball courts; playing fields for soccer, softball, and lacrosse; hockey and ice skating rinks; plenty of playgrounds; a bike path; and a year-round indoor recreational facility. You can see a diagram of how the entire park will look at this link, and you can read the park's blog at this link.
Brooklyn Bridge Park _ Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates from stephen knifton on Vimeo.
You can watch the video above that shows some views of how this area looked before the park was built and also gives very interesting information about how the park was built using almost all reclaimed and recycled material. You can also watch the video on this web link.
I hope that I've encouraged you to consider visiting the wonderful borough of Brooklyn in New York City. There's a lot to see in Brooklyn, and now another beautiful park to enjoy!
I'm linking to "Outdoor Wednesday" event on Susan's blog "A Southern Daydreamer," and for the first time, Watery Wednesday and "Pink Saturday" at Beverly's How Sweet The Sound blog. Please visit all these wonderful blogs and join in all the fun!