Happy Birthday, Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park

Today, March 22, is the fifth anniversary of the opening of Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The opening ceremony took place on a rainy day, as the photo of Judy Stanton, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, being interviewed by NY1, shows.

IMG_5919_edited-1This photo, taken from the Brooklyn Bridge on March 13, 2009 shows early construction work on Pier 1.

IMG_7227_edited-1Trees are stored on the Pier 3 uplands awaiting planting on Pier 1; October 21, 2009.

IMG_7234_edited-1The southern portion of the pier deck is being removed, exposing the pilings; October 27, 2009.

IMG_7230_edited-1The terrain has taken shape on October 27, 2009.

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  • ujh

    Claude, thank you for your overview of the monumental task of literally reshaping what had been a flat pier surface and warehouse. I attended the opening ceremony in 2010 and although I have been walking the increasing length of the park several times each week since then, I still marvel at what we have gained – despite the development going up.

  • Willow Street Watch

    Happy birthday for the absolute poison pill for the Heights? What!?! Try better too bad it was ever born day or too bad its not still piers day! And the wonderful Heights “leaders” are all there to celebrate what? To mark the great unique Heights atmosphere/environment being pushed off a high cliff to please the real estate, the financial sector and the wonderful (rain puddle deep) yuppie “culture”?

    Let’s see..let’s celebrate dozens of my neighbors not being able to sleep because of the highly enlightened ” cultural events” being thoughtfully done at the performance space below Clark or the crowds or the thinning of our safety net by the park/development’s increase in area use…sure enough!

    What a wonderful scene…enraging and disgusting.

  • Teresa

    I’ll never forget the joy I felt the first time I walked through the park, out along the piers, out over the river and the harbor on a gorgeous sunny day. It felt like a revelation, a respite from congestion and concrete, and the beauty overwhelmed me–it still does, every time I take that walk, and I’m grateful for it. I love seeing all the people gathered by the barbecues, celebrating with friends and family. I tend to think the crowds/noise problems are a little over-stated, though I’m greatly disturbed by the Pierhouse project. But seeing all kinds of people from all kinds of places enjoying a beautiful park reminds me what I love about New York and why I want to live here.

  • R.O.Shipman

    So move… There’s probably a nice quiet plot of land in Old Westbury where you could be miserable in peace

  • Willow Street Watch

    I happen to be NYC born and raised. We have had residences forever in the Heights and excuse me if I and my family Don’t want the neighborhood and/or its unique culture/atmosphere severely damaged by the wonderful a) real estate/financial industry b) yuppie “culture” c) Casino roll-overs d) attitudes such as yours….

  • Teresa

    What is “unique” about the Heights’ culture/atmosphere? Serious question. I’ve lived here for 18 years and love it, but there are plenty of other neighborhoods that seem to offer similar architecture, neighborhood feel, etc. And in those 18 years, it seems to me that the culture began to change long before the Park came in…what’s happening on Montague St. does far more to change what I loved about the Heights than the Park does.

  • Willow Street Watch

    This sounds like thinly disguised PR copy for the park. Crowds/noise overstated? Really? Well You try to sleep through some “world music” events or deal with some of the behavior and attitudes of park attendees. Just ask residents on Jorelemon what the effects of the park really are…and why don’t you address the subject of your “all kinds of people” having the real world effect of thinning out our safety net.
    As far as the design of the park its classic west elm yuppie ugly..all the astetic quality of downtown Minneapolis. Which placed next to the timeless beauty of the Heights is an absolute outrage.

  • Teresa

    Nope, no PR. Local resident, writes for this blog, no financial or professional interest in the park at all, just enjoyment of what it offers. “All kinds of people” “thinning the safety net” troubles me…one of the few dislikeable things about the neighborhood is its lack of diversity and at times insularity; I think it’s terrific that there’s a beautiful space that people from all over the borough, city, country, and world can and want to enjoy, for its views, its green spaces, its athletic opportunities. Are there some inconveniences associated with it? For sure, and of course the park should be expected to comply with noise regulations. But decrying its democratic nature to me suggests a kind of upper-class insularity that there’s already way too much of in the neighborhood and the city.

  • R.O.Shipman

    Cities change and evolve. Nothing remains static. Things either get better or get worse. I know I’d rather have what’s happening with real estate in NYC, despite the problems it brings with it, than what’s happening to Detroit.

    And please, all those things you complain about was already happening and would have continued with or without the park. Luckily the neighborhood got a world class amenity out of the deal. If you are going to complain about that, you really are a misanthrope, or maybe just don’t want certain classes of people in your neighborhood.

  • Willow Street Watch

    First of all, the quality and level of the Heighs atmosphere and culture is the nature and quality of the human material who have decided to live here.
    My parents had a great observation: change the people, change the city..
    (And yes, R.O. that’s exactly what happened with Jerry Cavanagh’s Detroit. )
    If you alter the human material you alter the atmosphere. Most Heights residents want a quality atmosphere with neighbors who respect..and are capable of making a contribution to…the Heights culture.

    When I was a kid I made the observation that the Heights was really, and properly two things; a little England and a ghetto for the gifted. And if you alter that you change and destroy what is unique about the Heights.

    And yes, R.O. people Do want to prevent or at worst be insulated from social decay such as Detroit, which exactly started with the ignoring of the legitimate interests and feelings of the elements of the city who actually made the city functional. They promptly left and the rest is history…

    How about installing a wonderful figure like Barry Gordy as BHA president and secretary of the casino? That would certain broaden the culture of the Heights…

    The point here is we can easily lose our most valuable elements if we disrespect the legitimate interests and feelings of the elements which maintain and stabilize the Heights. And ” developments” (read social engineering/scams) like the park do exactly that in large measure…

  • Jorale-man

    OK, I think for many Heights residents, Brooklyn Bridge Park is a mixed bag. It has repurposed a once blighted industrial waterfront and generated some needed recreation facilities. It has stimulated property values and probably generated huge amounts of business to area merchants.

    At the same time, it has been marked by countless design blunders and questionable uses of space; it has made the neighborhood feel overrun with visitors in the summer; and the Pier One complex is an unforgivable sell-out to real estate interests.

    So at 5 years, it’s a mixed picture. But I remain hopeful that it can overcome some of its problems in the years ahead.

  • TeddyNYC

    Now, that’s what I call a well-balanced comment summarizing the past five years of living with BBP. I really hope that some progress is made in the next few years to improve the quality of life in the Heights and the entire city as well. I know in general life is a mixed bag and often you have to take the bad with the good. As long as the bad is not bad enough to make you wish you lived somewhere else.

  • Mini_Cooper

    I can’t get past ‘world class amenity’. Come on…

  • Mini_Cooper

    Actually, downtown Minneapolis is quite aesthetic.

  • Mini_Cooper

    Well put!

  • Willow Street Watch

    Well balanced but rain puddle deep.

    Want to preserve and safeguard something of value? Then when something is threatening or going wrong you have to face it, make an honest assessment and take corrective action. Its the height of irresponsibility to sugar coat it or gloss it all over like several of you want to do.

  • Willow Street Watch

    You know, one of the real measures of a person I have always found is not the religious or family life, the level and q!quality of education or income or the deeper moral ethical or spiritual life…no its the car they drive…

    While the above is a light hearted comment, there is truth in assessment of personal choices in a person..

    Let me get this straight, are you one of those people who actually own and drive a mini cooper?

  • R.O.Shipman

    It has an amazing playground for kids, great recreational facilities, peaceful spots within the park, all in amazing surroundings that provide a better view than the promenade (and we all know how people feel about that view), what would you call that? It shows how entitled some in the Heights are that they can’t acknowledge the amazing features of the park even if there are disruptions to their daily life.

  • Mini_Cooper

    Actually, no. I do not own a car. But I do have a cat named MiniCooper. And my brother in MN has a John Cooper Works Coupe. When I did own a car it was a red TR4-A.

  • ShinyNewHandle

    R.O. Shipman: I disagree. The view from the bluff is better than that from lower down. It makes no sense to build new buildings in the flood zone that obscure the view from the bluff.

  • Willow Street Watch

    So you’re a TEA BAGGER! Grrrrrrrr….I knew there was a reason I disliked you on our first contact….

    (Starting in the early 50’s to the early 60’s the sports guys were the absolute enemy of all hot rodders and a general lower level hate object of most Kar Kustomizers. The sports car guys were snoots, anglophiles and although we didn’t understand it clearly at the time, they were early one worlders…Booo!)

    Let’s see if there are any mitigating circumstances; when you had your TR4 did you a) have a flame paint job…b) extensive pin striping…c) was the red possibly red METALFLAKE? Well did you at least have blue dots tail lights?

  • Mini_Cooper

    TEABAGGER??? I am probagly one of the most liberal progressive Democrats you will ever meet (tho I doubt we will ever meet as I tend to stay away from people who dislike me). I know nothing of the early 50s. I never owned a hot-rod nor do I know what a Kar Kustomizer is. Never heard the expression ‘early one worlder’. Never had any paint job on my car other than the regular old red it came with. Never heard of blue dots tail lights. My parents gave me the car as a graduation present because I was going with a fellow who had one and they saw how much I liked it. Any further problems or anything else you would like to know about me?

  • Willow Street Watch

    All of the above are light hearted comments which are only meant as semi serious and not intended to offend. In the long now long past era I refer to, there was a super social divide between anyone with something like a Triumph or an MG and the crowd I identified with. It was an amazing fun era with strong but often funny features.
    Kar Kustomizers were a hobby/art/social movement in which people changed the body shape of their cars to make the the car more dynamic or advance their concept of what the direction of car styling should be. Included in this was paint/surface treatments could be. The latter started with candy apple paint, a gold under base covered with one or more layers of clear colored lacquer. A paint job you looked down into rather than simply looked at as in standard opaque paint. The was followed by pearl paint and then finally by Metalflake paint jobs which placed flecks of colored metal all over a car covered by a protective clear non colored lacquer layer.

    Just google; stom cars, George Barris, watson paint, bill Cushin berry, Ed Roth, Darril Starbird, car scalloping, flame paint jobs, and blue dot tail lights and you’ll see some of the real America….

  • Mini_Cooper

    I kinda thought from your post that we are from the same (or close) era, but I must admit I never heard of any of the things or people you mention. I got the car as a graduation present and did nothing to it except drive it and clean it. Maybe it’s cause I’m a girl. :)

  • gc

    Googling teabagger leads to urban dictionary with a variety of definitions. Yours??

  • joralemoan

    Reading through this thread, I’m a little perplexed about the either/or attitude toward the Park. I love the park, biking, sunning (yes, I still sun), but I absolutely hate what the Park has done to Joralemon St. at night. A steady stream of teenagers shrieking and cursing at the top f of their lungs from park to subway, day and night. You think this hasn’t changed the atmosphere from sleepy civility to vulgar rowdiness? And yes, I do mourn the old neighborhood (or at least this street) because it’s gone.

    I’m wondering, though, if the organization that runs the teams that use the Park (and the kids walking joralemon are definitely teams, with jackets, jerseys, etc.) could be required to quiet things down, much like the way bars are required to keep things quite for neighbors? Where to turn?