Court Nixes “Save The View” Suit; Brooklyn Bridge Park Seeks Venue Change for Pier 6 Litigation

Curbed reports that the court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by Save The View Now and the Brooklyn Heights Association against the Brooklyn Bridge park Corporation, the City of New York, and the developers of Pierhouse, claiming that a penthouse on the southern part of Pierhouse illegally infringed on the protected view plane from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. The suit was dismissed on the same grounds as was an earlier one brought by Save The View Now; that it was brought after the statute of limitations on government action had expired. The court also said the later suit’s allegations duplicated ones made in the earlier one. The dismissal of the earlier suit is now on appeal; an appeal of the latest decision is possible.

Moving to the southern (Pier 6) front, the Brooklyn Heights Association has updated us about the suit they brought early in July against the BBPC, various government entities, and the developers who have been selected to build the residential towers proposed there. First, the judge has ruled that construction of the towers cannot begin before December 1, with a minimum of three weeks’ notice before it begins. (Update: The BHA and BBPC have now advised us that this schedule was established by agreement among the parties, including BHA, BBPC, and the developers.) Following the filing of papers by the parties according to an announced schedule, arguments in the case are to be held on or after November 10. Meanwhile, the BBPC has moved to have the proceedings removed from the court in Manhattan where they are now pending to one in Brooklyn. Perhaps BBPC believes, based on the fate so far of the Save The View cases, that they will find a more sympathetic forum on this side of the East River.

Photo: C. Scales for BHB

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  • B.

    Well, it’s a shame. The Brooklyn Bridge is our Parthenon, a magnificent and iconic piece of construction; you might as well erect a high-rise blocking the view of the Parthenon, or of the Eiffel Tower, or of Coventry Cathedral.

    Pierhouse is a carbuncle, a hulking excrescence interfering with a cherished, elegant work of engineering. Tacky trumps grace.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I enjoyed your use of the words “carbuncle” and “excrescence”.

  • Reggie

    So true. Bring back the cold storage warehouse with its stately boxiness.

  • B.

    I don’t remember noticing the cold-storage building. I guess it didn’t loom as large and block the view.

  • Jorale-man

    It didn’t. Though supporters of the Pierhouse have argued that it was just as high (a debatable point), it wasn’t anywhere nearly as wide and bulky.

  • Andrew Porter

    “A monstrous carbuncle” was the term used by Prince Charles in discussing a building in London in 1984:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/8046449.stm

  • Reggie

    It was taller but not as wide. It blocked more or less as much of the bridge; less roadway, more tower.

  • gc

    You can’t seriously be comparing the 2 structures.

  • Reggie

    I have looked at photographs taken from the same locations and using lens with approximately the same focal length and, yes, I am entirely serious.

  • B.

    I don’t remember that, but obviously you are correct. A fun word to describe a building one finds objectionable.

  • gc

    Take a walk down Orange St to the Promenade and then tell me that these 2 structures are comparable in any meaningful way.

  • Mark

    In the Eagle’s report on the attempt to move the Pier 6 case to Brooklyn, they specify that it would be to get the matter heard by Judge Lawrence Knipel. It was also Knipel who just nixed the Save the View Now/BHA vs. Pierhouse. I think he has a perfect record of going in favor of BBPC & whatever developer.

    I see there’s a great picture of Judge Knipel on stage at the Kings County Criminal Bar Summer Bash singing the 1965 classic “Wooly Bully” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs. No comment on his performance in the article.

    Here are the links:
    http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2016/7/29/brooklyn-bridge-park-seeks-move-pier-6-lawsuit-manhattan-brooklyn-court

    http://www.brooklyneagle.com/articles/2016/7/21/justice-matthew-d%E2%80%99emic%E2%80%99s-band-hit-brooklyn%E2%80%99s-legal-community

  • Pierrepont

    So apropos that Pierhouse is an earthy, nay organic, shade of brown, no?

  • Reggie

    Well, that may get to the crux of the problem. If I walk down Orange Street, I will see only one building and I agree, it is very large. I stand by my own research, which allowed me to compare the two structures.

  • Still Here

    Three major differences –
    1 – The highest parts of the Pier House are about the height of the highest tower portion of the original CS. (I know, this is argueable).
    2 – The length of the overall Pier House and condos are probably twice that of the origin CS footprint – as always planned.
    3 – The most significant visual difference (to me) is at Pier 1 – The Cold Storage building was 150+ feet further south of Old Fulton St than the current hotel. So the hotel height and mass plus its mechanicals tower replaced a previously wide open, light, and undeveloped space.From this POV the Pier House Hotels is significantly more imposing than the prior structure. But we knew this would be the case in 2005.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    “A Natural Evolution”

  • Andrew Porter

    Here is a colorized 1904 postcard showing the structures. Judge whether they block the view of the BB or not:

  • Andrew Porter

    Interesting if lengthy article about one of Knipel’s actions here:

    http://tinyurl.com/hdwv3tm

  • William Gilbert

    Not true. The Chrysler building used to be visible from the Orange Street portion of the Promenade and now it is no where to be seen. The cold storage building was not as tall as the new structure and you could see more of the bridge and beyond. Have you lived here long?

  • Mark

    Thanks–Very interesting article about doubtful actions by Judge K regarding foreclosures. Any connection between that and the Daily News article–almost exactly one year later–“Brooklyn court overwhelmed by wave of foreclosures” ? Seems K thought further doubtful measures were required.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-court-overwhelmed-wave-foreclosures-article-1.2557744

  • Reggie

    And this photo was taken from where, the Hotel Margaret? Taken in any case from a much higher vantage point than the promenade (which hadn’t been built yet).

  • Reggie

    Most of my life but since I am comparing “photographs taken from the same locations and using lens with approximately the same focal length,” the duration of my residency is immaterial. Other than relative ease of access to primary source material, I could have made the comparisons from the comfort of my home in Sioux Falls.

  • Nomcebo Manzini

    Why all the jokiness?! Yes, BHA was asleep at the switch – or worse – earlier in the process, but does anyone think that it’s IMPOSSIBLE to rejigger the pierhouse monstrosity to … save the view?! … This is like training a puppy – the old-fashioned way. If Hudson or whomever can smirk at a result this outrageous, guaranteed there will be plenty more in the future. Slap their wrists really hard and maybe developers will be more inclined NOT to cheat. … And what’s with the “fast tracking?!” – YES, I understand how BBPC & its allies like it, but inquiring minds want to know why (or even IF) the BHA & “the good guys” agreed to it…. Ah, but this is a blog – some good info on occasion, but SO VERY FAR (usually) from what used to be called journalism.

  • Andrew Porter

    Likely taken from the Bossert, or some other building on Montague Street. Or maybe by one of those Wright Bros. drones…

  • StudioBrooklyn

    “Why all the jokiness?!”

    That’s like asking me what’s up with the oxygen consumption. And for the record I’d rather run out of oxygen before humor. 🙃

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

    Wrong, the new building is about 30 feet (3 stories) taller.