Brooklyn Heights resident and historic preservation activist Martin Schneider has shared with us the following letter he wrote to the New York Times City Editor concerning the controversy over the Pierhouse structure’s blocking views of the Brooklyn Bridge:
To the City Editor:
The bloated building now underway in the Brooklyn Bridge Park at Furman and Fulton Streets has received meager attention so far from the Times. Yet, it is a distressing and even outrageous fact that the building is seriously compromising world-famous views from one of the most heavily visited sites in the city. Late though it is, the problem is still salvageable and the courts are being looked to for a remedy which will be costly to the developers and to the reputation of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation which is supposed to look after the public interest.
The Park Corporation is dominated and seemingly controlled by Mayoral appointments. And, in the face of agreements dating back to 2005 and 2006, the Corporation presses forward flagrantly abrogating them.
In a recent court hearing the Corporation, the City and the Developers all claimed that the public was informed step by step along the way. But, persons who attended the earlier meetings testify otherwise saying that their repeated requests for detailed structural information were never answered. In addition, the building’s backers promoted misleading graphic views of the proposed buildings and met reasonable questions with evasive and obfuscatory responses time and again.
Underlying the community’s current frustration and extreme despair—which is shared by the views’ widespread stake holders—is the fact that in 2005, the need for protecting the view was fully laid out in hearings at the time by Otis Pearsall. Then, Pearsall and the watchful community which was most immediately affected, were assured that these protective understandings would be accepted and enforced. They have now be ignored with devastating results to all who love the Brooklyn Bridge, and its incomparable beauty and its window into our City’s great history.
Late as it is, there is still time for the NY Times to take a hard look at this potentially permanent destruction of one of the greatest views in New York and save this incomparable vista.