Ahoy! New Viewing Platform Pitched For Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6

The NY Times reports on a new viewing platform planned for Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6:

Voilà: A new plan, which should win city approval shortly, would give Pier 6, off Atlantic Avenue, a flowering meadow with seasonal grasses, a sprawling field and a triangular wooden viewing platform. That’s at the southern end of this spectacularly successful 1.3-mile-long Brooklyn park, where there’s already a maze of children’s playgrounds. The meadow and field would add breathing room to the pier and a mini-Great Lawn floating serenely over the East River.

However, this passage in the NYT piece by Michael Kimmelman has struck a sour note with BHB’s TK Small:

It’s only a pity that the required wheelchair ramp and its railing along the structure’s edge mean that the platform feels partly disconnected from the lawn.

Small fired off this missive to Kimmelman this evening:

Dear Mr. Kimmelman,

As a 48 year resident of Brooklyn Heights, who uses a motorized wheelchair, there is a good chance that we have crossed paths in the neighborhood. Near the end of your recent column, your statement “It’s only a pity that the required wheelchair ramp and its railing along the structure’s edge mean that the platform feels partly disconnected from the lawn.” is obnoxious.

Public spaces should be maximally inclusive, which includes wheelchair ramps and the concomitant railings. It’s not a “pity”, it’s a good thing!

T.K. Small
Attorney at Law
Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council Member


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  • Jorale-man

    I found myself agreeing with Kimmelman’s point that the park needs more green space where one can relax or throw a frisbee. That said, I do wish he hadn’t given the condo/hotel development at Pier 1 such a free pass. The park planners seem willing to take on more expensive additions like this when they could scale back on such things and perhaps *not* have such a big condo complex in the park.

    Of course, I’m simplifying the choices a bit but I do wonder whether they could simply plant some grass and a few trees on Pier 6 and allow for just as nice a public space without all of the associated costs and tradeoffs.

  • Cranberry Beret

    When I first read the piece yesterday, I took the comment about ADA access to be a criticism of the designer for doing a poor job of integrating it into the space – not that the required access itself was a pity. Bad word choice since I do see how TK could’ve read it the other way. (It wasn’t one of his most well-written articles…calling the design a “tostito” when he sincerely meant to praise it is just weird.)

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    The grassy landscape you desire, I believe, is Pier 3. The description gives the impression that it will be a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the outdoors on a grassy meadow. (see attached)


  • Jorale-man

    Thank you, Karl. That looks like it will be very nice once complete.

  • e

    It looks like it could be very cool — give you the impression that you are floating above the NY harbor.