Pierhouse: Still Growing on Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1

A BHB reader notes on Facebook that the Pierhouse is continuing to rise and block the view of the Brooklyn Bridge. Of course, it doesn’t block the historic view plane if you ask park officials. And heck, if you believe what we reported on in 2007, the big fun is JUST GETTING STARTED.

In any event, Brownstoner notes today that the new additions are the “condo part” of the Pierhouse.

Photo: Carrie Hamilton via Facebook

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  • Bridgelover

    You don’t just have to ask park officials, you can look it up and see for yourself. The hotel is outside of the scenic view plane. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this is really a simple fact. The zoning resolution has a map showing what is in and what is out of the scenic view plane. And the hotel is out. http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/zone/art10c02.pdf . Stop reporting facts as opinions, it doesn’t help raise the level of civic discourse, which should be your goal.

  • BrooklynBugle

    We’re not reporting “facts” as “opinions”. That is unless you think Ms. Myer’s comment in the linked article is an opinion.

  • bridgelover

    You said the building is outside the view plane “if you ask park officials”. That implies it is an opinion – when it is actually a fact.

  • MyShinyNewHandle

    Boycott the Behemoth.

  • BrooklynBugle

    So that logic dictates that if we ask a park official a question they will answer with an opinion?

  • bridgelover

    Really? Are you seriously denying that the way you phrased that line didn’t clearly imply that whether or not it is in the view plane is up for debate? Come on.

  • johnny cakes

    Do you master-bait everyone?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlsiLOnWCoI Arch Stanton

    Your link doesn’t show the hotel is out of the scenic view plane. It only shows the parameters of the view plane. One must go to the Promenade with surveying equipment to verify if the hotel is in violation. So yes, it is debatable.
    Also as I recall, the developers said they
    weren’t going to build the hotel any taller than the buildings that were previously there, They appear to have ignored that “promise”.

  • gatornyc

    If that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black.

  • C Batista

    Plane or no plane, the truly sad part is that the bridge is no longer seen in context, spanning the body of water it was meant to transverse. From the pic referenced, it looks like a bridge over PierHouse. Just saying’…

  • Carlotta

    True. Shame on us all for allowing it to happen.

  • Solovely

    Hubris of our generation to think we have the right to do this. It is higher than the already thoughtless structure that was there before. This is not social progress! Where is the planning foresight? bBP is a great park, but that does not disallow criticism of legitimate failures.

  • BrooklynBugle

    Guess it’s safe to assume you have skin in this game. So no, we’re not questioning whether or not it’s in the view plane. What is in question is how can anyone involved with their glands connected think that this was a good height. Yes, it’s a done deal and a folly that will impact generations to come — or at least until the next 100 year storm hits us.

  • Rick

    I don’t think most people have any idea how bad this is going to get. Much more than just the bridge view is going to be blocked.

    Some months ago I uploaded photos to the Wednesday Open Thread of this blog. They were photos I’d just taken of the construction site. On the photos, I’d drawn lines to show my estimate of the amount of view that would be blocked when the condos are completed.

    From that estimate, if we draw a line from the roof-line of the condos already built and extend that roof-line to the position to the south where they will end, the roofline will be so high that we’ll soon have to kiss goodbye the views of the Pier 1 part of the park (including the attractive pilings in the river) as well as a substantial amount of skyline. That would be when standing on the northern sections of the Promenade, past Orange Street. The further north one goes, the more blockage.

    The only response I got here was a dispute of my estimate from someone who I suspect is involved with the project.

    I can’t believe that city officials are allowing this to happen.

  • lookitup

    Given that this is a Toll Brothers project, and their buildings are generally of questionable quality, it will probably be reduced to rubble after a few storms, nevermind a hurricane.

  • heights res

    It’s repulsive

  • Reggie

    Da plane, da plane!

  • ujh

    Has anyone bothered to read the document that established the “Special Scenic View District,” i.e., the fan-shaped view from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, to find out whether it mentions the view of the entire height of the western half of Brooklyn Bridge as being protected? Furthermore, given the post-Sandy mandate governing new construction in a flood zone, who expects ANY developer from sacrificing income-producing floors to accommodate mechanical installations. Would you, if you were an investor? I think a reality check is in order.

  • peterbrooklyn

    Agree. You make a great point. Greed rules. That’s really what’s happening here.

  • WS Gilbert

    I would expect, even as an investor, that the law and regulation be complied with. That is the right thing to do.

  • MyShinyNewHandle

    I think a refund check is in order.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com ClaudeScales

    There was an agreement, subscribed to by the BBPC, that no building on the Pier 1 site would impede the view of the Brooklyn Bridge, even though outside the designated view plane, any more than did the National Cold Storage Warehouse building that stood there before. When it became necessary to move the mechanicals of the Pier House to the top after Sandy, no doubt the developer confronted BBPC management with an ultimatum: this agreement had to be scrapped; otherwise, the developer would be forced to abandon the hotel project and the Park would be denied substantial revenue as well as the presence of a hotel, which the Park’s management wanted very much. Despite the BBPC’s, in my opinion, disingenuous claim that the “community” was given full notice of the implications of moving the mechanicals to the top of the building, the fact that the Brooklyn Heights Association and Otis Pearsall, who was instrumental in negotiating the agreement that was scrapped, were unaware of it makes this claim seem very dubious. BBPC has also used what I consider three red herring arguments: that the previously established view plane hasn’t been obstructed (irrelevant because the agreement specifically dealt with what was outside the view plane); that the structure housing the mechanicals complies with the City’s building code (irrelevant because it ignores the agreement); and that the previously existing warehouse structure also blocked part of the view of the Bridge from the Promenade (true if you’re at the north end of the Promenade; the view the agreement sought to protect was from its south end).

    This is all the sad result of our unwillingness, as a polity, to provide adequate funding for public goods, such as parks, schools, libraries, and hospitals. This leaves us dependent on public-private partnerships, in which private interests always seem to hold the upper hand, to the detriment of the rest of us.

  • Heights Correspondent 1

    Its very simple kids…someone
    has to reach in their pockets retain
    competent council and bring a really
    Credible legal action. an RJI counts
    not endlessly recounting how you are
    being assaulted. If your “leaders” won’t
    do anything YOU have to do something.
    If you want security and a decent life,
    it would seem obvious, SOMEONE
    Has to bell the cat.

  • WOW

    This is New York City — so many view end up getting blocked by progress. Why care if some of the view is blocked from the precious promenade? Back when they were building it, nobody even wanted it…

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Yes, Wow — why care if you are duped by the combination of politicians aligned with greedy real estate interests when they steal your views, hospitals, libraries, movie theaters — in fact, everything that adds up to a quality of life for which you pay high property taxes?

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com ClaudeScales

    Your idea of “progress” is idiosyncratic, and, yes, the Promenade is precious.

  • Maggie

    Here’s how the view is described in the document: “The #scenic view# to be protected pursuant to the provisions of this Section includes: the panoramic view of the lower Manhattan skyline which includes such landmarks as the Brooklyn Bridge archway, the South Street Seaport, the Whitehall Ferry Terminal, and the vistas of the Statue of Liberty and Governor’s Island.”
    It’s not clear to me what they mean when they say “Brooklyn Bridge archway” – is it the roadway? the gothic arches on the West Tower?
    Here’s a link to the full document: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/zone/art10c02.pdf

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com ClaudeScales

    The document you have referred to is irrelevant to the issue. There is a separate agreement, entered into in 2005, that is intended to protect a view of the Brooklyn Bridge that is not included in the “scenic view plane.” There’s more information here: http://brooklynheightsblog.com/archives/70634

  • Andrew Porter

    With ocean levels rising, this building will be sitting in the harbor some time next century—if not sooner.

  • Maggie

    Claudia – my comment was in response to ujh’s question about the original definition of the Special Scenic View District’s stipulations. The special scenic view district will be controlling should the 2005 agreement fail.