Squibb Playground in Lively Use

BHB photo by C. Scales

Long deserted, Squibb Playground was alive with frolicking kids (from PS 8?) this morning. No skateboard pipe yet.

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  • harumph

    does this mean it is also open to the public for our non-ps 8 kids?

  • Robyn

    Will they also build a ramp connecting the playground with the Pier1?

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    A footbridge connecting Squibb to Pier 1 is planned, but not yet funded.

    My understanding is that it’s a public playground, though also used by PS 8 during school hours.

  • BHer

    PS 8 is using the space while the new building is under construction. There is almost no playground space at the moment. Squibb Park has been a great thing that has happened for the school.

  • Reggie

    PS 8 students only for now, although I’ve heard the playground will be open to the public in the near future.

  • troll

    Does Great Wall deliver to Squibb Park?

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Thanks for the correction, Reggie.

    troll: Bucko, they deliver to Tierra del Fuego.

  • brooklynheightzer

    Reggie, how about general public, Plymouth, St Ann’s and other local schools students…? Can’t they use the playground now??? Or perhaps PS8 students are used as guinea pigs…

  • Reggie

    The issue with Squibb Playground is its isolation and single entrance. The parks department doesn’t like the public in there if there isn’t any supervision. Used to be you only lost your lunch money, now every kid has an iPhone.

    A deal was brokered for PS 8 to use Squibb while its own playground is out of commission due to the expansion. The school provides its own supervision. Skate parks are staffed by the parks department to ensure kids are wearing helmets, etc. So, my guess is Squibb will open to everyone once the skate ramps are installed.

  • harumph

    something just doesn’t sit right with me about this – St. Ann’s doesn’t have a playground, and many others. why do we tax-payers get to pay for the fixing-up of a “public park” when it is only used for private use? Unless I’m missing something, I’m sure that PS8 is not paying for that right.

  • brooklynheightzer

    I find it rather troubling. I am sure that Plymouth, St Ann’s and other local school students would be provided with appropriate supervision on the playground by their school administrations. As Reggie said “A deal was brokered for PS 8” which I do not believe is right or fair to the rest of the kids in our neighborhood…

  • epc

    You do understand PS8 is a public school, right?

    Squibb park was closed for, what, a decade or more? And people are complaining that it was fixed up because PS8 needed a place for the kids to play while the construction is going on?

    No wonder Paladino is in genuine contention for the NYS Governorship.

  • Robyn

    epc, your comment makes no sense – people are not complaining because Squibb park “was fixed up because PS8 needed a place for the kids”. In fact that was not the reason why it was fixed. People are questioning the special arrangement that PS8 has for using this park!

  • Heights Mom

    It’s a temporary thing for PS 8 to use Squibb. PS 8 is a public school so the idea of using public land is not outrageous, unlike St. Anne’s which is a private school and should provide their own facilities for the children who pay upwards of $25,000 per year to go there.

  • Robyn

    Heights Mom,
    That again is not the issue. You are missing the point. If a school is public it does not entitle it to an exclusive use of a public facility. Public Park means it is to be used by the public -period.

    And by the way, those people who send their kids to St. Anne’s and dish out upwards of $25,000 per year also provide a bulk of financing for this very public school you are so vehemently defending. So you should actually send them a thank you letter!

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Little did I imagine that my (I thought) fairly innocuous post would spark such a dispute (but, as I told a journalism student who asked me what were the particularly contentious issues on BHB, “I could post a picture of a cute kitten curled up on a pillow, with the caption ‘Fluffy is nice’, and it would start a heated debate.”). Anyway, as I understand it, the arrangement for PS 8 (with which I have no connection) to have exclusive use of the space is temporary, and it will be made available to everyone in the not-too-distant future. As it is, the Squibb space is just an open area where kids can run around and work off some energy, There is no playground equipment, unlike the Harry Chapin Playground just across the street, or the Pierrepont Playground a short walk away. If you have an older child who just wants to run around or roughhouse with friends, there’s the lawn on Pier 1, or Cadman Plaza. (Yes, I know, the latter has its deficiencies).

  • T.K. Small

    Just for the record, I hate Fluffy! I have always hated Fluffy and always will! Fluffy is one of the most miserable cats who ever lived in Brooklyn Heights. It is a miracle that Fluffy has somehow avoided being mentioned in the police blotter. Parents, beware. Fluffy is very dangerous! Fluffy is anything but nice!

  • BHer

    I am not sure that Squibb would even be open for use by anyone before the bring to BBP is completed. I believe this was a special arrangement made with PS8 because the park is not yet open.

    Logistics are very important here too. St. Ann’s is too far from the park to use. It would take 30 minutes round trip to use the park. They currently use Cadman and Pierrepont on a daily basis so they are benefit from public park space too.

  • bklyn20

    Before some of you go beating up on PS 8, let’s look at Brooklyn Heights playgound reality:

    Doesn’t St. Ann’s have a rooftop playground on top of the old HIP building? Yet their younger kids take over Pierrepont Playground every weekday around noon. If they have stopped this, great –but it was going on until at least 2007, if I recall correctly. St Ann’s and possibly also Packer routinely take over the north (artificial turf) side of Cadman Park playing soccer, baseball, etc. These are almost certainly the kids monopolizing the running track on a daily or near-daily basis. That was mentioned by several people in an earlier post — on an Open Thread, I think. Don’t the St Ann’s middle-school kids play in Cadman every lunch hour, although they are not as many and not as organized as the after school crew? This is long-term use, not a stopgap during construction.

    Cadman, in the years since the turf went in, is basically a “Lord of the Flies” park, Perhaps you must be part of a group of big (mainly male) kids standing in the middle of the field, or the St Ann’s/Packer kids will take over the space and you will have to move over. NYC Parks will not issue permits for the park so
    these schools have de facto ownership long-term. PS 8 has “ownership” of Squibb during 9-3 school hours for a limited period of time while the annex is under construction and the
    school yard is filled with machinery.

    Which arrangement is unfair?

  • bklyn20

    As a point of clarification, the south side of Cadman is the one with the turf.

    As another point of clarification, the nefarious and mysterious backroom-brokered “deal” was largely in the form of a petition signed by the people of Brooklyn Heights and/or PS 8 parents. This was the impetus that got Squibb resurfaced sooner, meaning we can all use it sooner.

  • tb

    The poor poor underprivileged kids from St. Ann’s. Perhaps we should hold a fund-raiser for them to bulid them their special special gold plated playground.

  • nabeguy

    After all the debates about safety issues at Pier 1 and 6, I’m hardly surprised at the Parks Departments reluctance to open the park up to the general public. I wouldn’t quite say that the students of PS 8 are being used as guinea pigs, but the fact that they’re under DOE supervision does remove the PD at least one step away from direct liability.

  • ABC

    I for one would love it if the St Ann’s kids would use Squibb. As has been pointed out, the little St Ann’s kids now take over Pierrepont daily and the older kids take over 1/2 the turf at Cadman at various time thru out the day — morning and afternoon. Literally, they set up cones and don’t ask the public to get off the public lawn. They have coaches with them. It’s absolutely organized.

    I literally laughed out loud at the “what about St Ann’s kids” remark. I love St Ann’s but they could get their playground situation together.

  • David on Middagh

    I must agree with T.K. Small.

    Fluffy, and other longhaired cats, are not so nice when compared to the less-plush shorthairs, who are more easily groomed and become very friendly on cold winter days.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    DoM and T.K.: you are engaging in misguided class warfare. Owners of long-haired cats pay more taxes and have greater commitment to historic preservation than owners of shorthairs. Besides, longhairs have softer voices, and are therefore less disturbing of the neighborhood’s peace and quiet.

  • davoyager

    I have been waiting for Squibb park to be reopened for 20 years. There was never any compelling reason for it to be closed. Pierrepont and Chapen have only 1 entrance and the cops and parks dept need only support it to make it safe (have noticed parks dept. police with guns on pier 1.)
    Anyway with those old warehouses gone the views from there are extraordinary. I would raise a call to open Squibb park at long last to all of us who might like to have lunch there and view an unparalleled panoramic vista of NY’s harbor.

  • bklyn20

    There is a very concrete reason for Squibb’s closure years ago. It is below street level and thus potentially unsafe. Apparently years ago someone was cruising on Columbia Heights late one night, they met someone or someones and went into Squibb to do their thing. (Please know that I intend no offense to anyone here. Even Fluffy.) One of the people involved was brutally attacked, and thus Squibb was closed.

    Have a look at the following quote from a 2008 article on Booklyn Heights in the NY Times (which I think was excerpted or commented on here at BHB at the time of its publication):

    “Mr. Schmitt noted that as far back as the mid-1800s Whitman went to Middagh Street to meet sailors. In the 1970s and ’80s, Mr. Schmitt recalled, muggers attacked gay prostitutes who met clients every night at the corner of Middagh and Columbia Heights.”

    That’s why it’s closed. Soon it will be open for all, for longer hours, and will also have a “comfort station” and an attendant. I hope we can clone John from Pierrepont Playground for that position.

  • Robyn

    Good Lord…I hope I did not start this whole thing. Also I did not realized that there so much animosity against the kids from St. Ann’s and other private schools in the neighborhood.

  • T.K. Small

    DoM & Claude, My condemnation and opposition to Fluffy is specific to this morally reprehensible cat, and does not extend to other long-haired felines. Making an across-the-board allegation as to all long-haired cats would be wrong and bigoted. After all, some of my best friends are long-haired cats.

  • bklyn20

    No, there is not animosity against private school kids in our nieghborhood.

    I do think most people are happy that we finally have a viable public elementary school — which helps EVERYONE’S property values, whichever school you send your children to, by the way.

    While my child goes to PS8, close relatives have attended private schools here, as do the children of close friends. Jealousy is not the problem. The problem is with the private schools’ administration, or mis-administration, of their student’s recreational time.

    Please don’t try to turn factual statements into biased statements. Go to the local parks yourself at the appropriate times and you will see exactly what people are writing about.