Brooklyn Heights Man Mounts Campaign to Stop Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pierhouse

Brooklyn Heights resident Steven Guterman is not happy about the Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pierhouse project blocking the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from many area vantage points. He’s decided to do something about it and recently penned this letter looking for help.

It’s been distributed in some Brooklyn Heights buildings, but this is the first time it has been published online.

Update: Mr. Guterman has launched an online petition.

Dear Neighbor,

The Pier House is taking over the iconic views of the historic Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan skyline in violation of the Special Scenic View District designation.

Working together is the only way to stop the Pier House from completely obstructing this scenic vista.

You may have read in the Brooklyn Eagle or other papers [and on BHB! – publisher], how the hotel portion of the Pier House is now well above the 100 foot limit agreed to during the planning stage. There is no transparency to the current plans for the condo portion of the structure, and therefore no way to know if Toll Brothers plans on also exceeding the agreed upon height limit for the condos to be “no higher than the Promenade”.

Strong action by the community demanding that construction is stopped pending a full review and ensuring agreement to the height restriction laid out in the Economic Impact Statement for the project in now essential.

We are looking for volunteers to help in this cause.

We need legal help to advise us on strategy, architectural expertise to determine where the violation have taken place and others to help spread the word and get signatures (via email) on a petition to Mayor de Blasio and others.

Time is of the essence so if you want to save the view email me at:

Steven Guterman

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  • Jorale-man

    You’d think that in a neighborhood like the Heights there would be enough legal and financial expertise among residents to help mount a campaign against this. This is, after all, the community that stopped Robert Moses from digging the BQE up Hicks Street. On the other hand, I wonder how much awareness there really is about this issue (aside from those of us who read the BHB). I applaud Mr. Guterman’s efforts, and will do what I can to support them, but he does have his work cut out for him.

  • Roberto Gautier

    The Toll Brothers project to smother the Brooklyn Bridge sends the message of a Juggernaut, a massive, unstoppable, alien force represented by corporate bullies that look you in the eye and whisper, “Get out of my way, or I will crush you.” Neither Don Quixote nor Mr. Guterman accepts that logic.
    As the Italians say, “la lotta continua” (the struggle goes on). We’ll see what happens.

  • Boerum Bill

    “Progress” marches on.

  • StoptheChop

    Toll Brothers is aided and abetted by the folks who run Brooklyn Bridge Park, of course. It doesn’t matter to BBP that our community advocated and supported the park from the beginning– they now run the show, with total support from City Hall, and we’re supposed to shut up and go away, no pushback allowed!

  • Fritz

    Unlike the plan for affordable housing near Pier 6, which I support, the Pier House building really is an eyesore.

  • gc

    Anyone who hasn’t seen this eyesore in the past couple of weeks so should walk down Cranberry St to Columbia Heights. I think it will be a real eye opener for you.

  • TeddyNYC

    I had family from Denmark visit me recently and they all felt that it was wrong how the Pierhouse was blocking the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade.

  • Doug Biviano

    you will feel the same once Pier 6 is built out and don’t believe the hype about affordable housing, it’s code for “whoever is holding on by a thread in a community you will be uprooted and pushed out by tomorrow and it will not be you who gets the proposed AH, you will be long gone.”

  • Reggie

    What’s that in the distance? Cue the Rolling Stones, that’s the train that left the station.

  • ClaudeScales

    The Stones got that, and more, from Robert Johnson:

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    You’d think so, yes. But our government is enormously corrupt. We fought to save LICH on every level — show of community support, marches, petitions, going to Albany, blogging, tweeting, legally. But the system is totally corrupt — our politicians and newspapers are on the take from the real estate industry. And the judges are owned by politicians.

  • stuart

    The new park has enhanced the views from the promenade enormously. No one remembers the truly hideous defunct cold storage warehouses that were on the spot where the new building is going up. The views of the harbor, the skyline and the bridges have been enhanced. Give it up already with cane shaking at the pierhouse.

  • Moni

    Of course it’s wrong, but it’s a done deal. Like Reggie says, that train has left the station and the wealthy will get their private residences in a public park because this is how NYC rolls now, as does the rest of the country. The rich rule, as never before, and the unequal economy will keep it that way for a long, long time to come. Careerist politicians will not make waves.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    There was nothing at all hideous about the view from the promenade before the park — warehouses and all.

  • johnny cakes

    And, how! Nothing but the truth. Been there, seen that.

    At least Cuomo has taken a hit in the presidential polls. And de Blasio is crashing over the police thing.

    But the Fortis Group got their real estate prize with LICH. You ain’t seen nothin, yet. Big density changes are coming.

  • johnny cakes

    Affordable housing is a catch phrase for fraud. Don’t believe any of it. Smoke and mirrors. Look at Atlantic Yards. Where is the AH? Never happened, and never will happen. Just a snow job for votes.

  • johnny cakes

    Agreed. Stuart is still a BBPC tool.

  • stuart

    you’re delusional. you should have a firmer grip on reality and let go of your asphyxiating nostalgia. The derelict port authoirty sheds, the wood palettes sirewn all over the place, the defunct cold storage warehouses were all hideous. The view has been improved about 1000%.

  • Heights Correspondent 1

    Several things are needed now. Public outrage, academics and clergy
    Should be sought as advisers and very public supporters..but at the end of the day only two things matter:

    1). A CREDIBLE request for judicial intervention I start a legal
    action which WILL do damage. And that includes an action
    In FEDERAL court(s)

    2) An EFFECTIVE investigation into the developer’s background,
    movements And associations’ and..the Backgrounds of his
    Financial backers which results in law enforcement action
    or Ellliot Spitzer level public distraction of a key figure’s
    personal standing…

    Seriously think about the above..if any of you can….

  • martinlschneider

    For those who really seem to believe that the views are actually enhanced by the bulky, disproportionately high structures being built by Toll Brothers, I am reminded of the great Groucho Marx question to the old, gullible lady,
    “Are you going to believe me, or are you going to believe your eyes???”

  • gc

    3) Three things actually matter: Actually throwing your body on the machine. Nowadays it will actually require physical intervention. It’s possible but will take a lot more than words. Protesting in front of the monstrosity now and when it opens might actually make a difference. Anybody here really up for that??

  • Heights Correspondent 1

    Yes, of course there should a smaller
    Then a BIG community meeting followed
    Followed by a loud well conducted
    Intelligently constructed protest action.
    This must be continuous and has to
    Make clear that the upheavals are
    not going away anytime soon. (The
    Best insecticide s are persistent agents.)
    But without the parallel efforts of
    Credible legal efforts and effective
    Investigative, the protest actions are
    Always weaker….

  • Andrew Porter

    Really? “newspapers are on the take from the real estate industry”? And there is proof of this where?

  • Andrew Porter

    You’re confusing the Piers with those memories of Mordor, Gollum.

  • Reggie

    True dat, Claude. I have a compilation that may be, given the number of alternate takes, everything Robert Johnson ever recorded. But who makes the guitar cry more mournfully, Johnson or Mick Taylor? And who sounds ‘more sad, more lonesome,’ Johnson or Jagger?

  • ClaudeScales

    I’m not knocking the Stones–I’ve been a fan since 1965–but giving credit where it’s due.