View of Brooklyn Bridge from Promenade Blighted Again

As if the Pierhouse’s blotting out of the full view of the arc of the Brooklyn Bridge, which had been visible (apart from two small interruptions caused by rooftop equipment) from the southern portion of the Promenade when the National Cold Storage Warehouse buildings were there (see here), wasn’t enough, a high rise building in Manhattan is now spoiling the view of the East (Brooklyn) Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge. As shown in the photo (by your correspondent) the new building (just north of the Manhattan Bridge on the Manhattan side) is looming over the Brooklyn side tower, thus taking away the view of the tower against the sky, as we’ve always known it.

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  • Cranberry Beret

    I really don’t like that building. It also spoils some majestic views of the Manhattan Bridge from many spots in the North Heights. You can see it towering over the neighborhood even when you’re far down in Cobble Hill, driving up Hicks St along the BQE. And to be an equal-borough complainer, it does the same thing to Manhattan Bridge and river views when you’re in the lower east side/Chinatown. This is the same exact problem that people predicted when Dumbo’s Dock St building was built hard up against the Brooklyn Bridge, except many times worse in my opinion.

  • B.

    We live in an ugly age. Between the repellant behavior of some of the young men coming up from the waterfront, who overturn garbage cans just for fun, and the reprehensible behavior of some of our elected officials, whose pay-to-play schemes undermine our communities, to the fascist defunding or destruction of beneficial entities such as the NIH, the EPA, the NEA, and so on, by the current administration, to the deformed output of some architects who need to make their mark and, unable to create beauty, create ugliness, buildings that mar what was once beautiful . . . .

    (What can that architect have been thinking, making that side of the building stark white and inserting badly shaped windows every which way? Except, perhaps, the bottom line and how to stick it to Brooklyn Heights, which had fought this illegal carbuncle?)

    Nothing to be done, I guess. Go to Barge Music, listen to something beautiful, and hope that some developer doesn’t set his sights on it.

  • BBP – Dave

    Claude – reasonable people may disagree about the relative impact of the Pierhouse compared to the Cold Storage Buildings, but let’s please keep the facts straight. The Cold Storage Buildings most certainly blocked the view of the full arc of the Brooklyn Bridge from the norther end of the promenade. That is irrefutable. Here is photographic evidence. Please correct your post. https://www.flickr.com/photos/epc/502269567/in/photolist-Logf8-r9muUK-rozaNL-rpWCWk-6UJPAo-qsL1qM-rq8Nco-qsx3Ff-qtQ3HD-r8mdzr-61eGrk-oy9MkZ-hEBKtn-sFMwnp-sGjtEQ-tDevrx-sGH9SH-tDFUyn-tD44Fq-tmW4mU-sG7i6C-tmZqcL-wP19tw-tmuTR1-sGmDjW-tB3YNW-tCUhY8-w65dgi-tCqTQq-tmDrWj-tmyzX9-tn6Ycr-r6C8qX-tmwCLh-tDn9e6-tmQvhW-sGUzmv-tmKfLQ-tmTLXq-owexnb-ow23Xr-tmVsWU-tmvBdQ-tAWzCu-tmXyBN-sGFzXr-tAYcLQ-tCNZ2o-tDbnat-wKzDJr

  • Jorale-man

    I detest this new building, which blights the views of both bridges from numerous vantage points.

    You’re right, it’s the same mentality that led to the Pierhouse blocking views from the Promenade: real estate development run amok. Someday in the future, people will ask, what were they thinking back in the early 2000s?

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com/ Claude Scales

    Arrgh! My occasional directional dyslexia strikes again. I meant the southern portion of the Promenade, not the north. Going through my archives I found a photo taken from near the Montague Street entrance to the Promenade looking northward that shows the National Cold Storage buildings pre-demolition. It shows several small breaks in the view of the bridge’s arc caused by rooftop bulkheads, but that most of the arc near the bridge’s Brooklyn side tower was visible from that vantage point. I’ve amended the post accordingly.

  • BBP – Dave

    Claude – that’s true, but if you go that far south down the promenade, you’ll find that the Pierhouse also does not block the arc. Don’t compare the impact of the Pierhouse from the northern end (which is what is pictured above) to the impact of the cold storage building from the southern end. That’s not fair.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com/ Claude Scales

    Actually, “the photo above” (by which I presume you mean the one in the top post) was, if I recall correctly, taken somewhere between the Clark and Pierrepont Street entrances, using a zoom lens with some magnification. That would put it in the southern portion of the Promenade. This afternoon I took the photo I’m attaching to this comment from just south of the Montague Street entrance, very close to the southern end of the promenade. I didn’t use as much zoom as I did in the previous photo. If you compare this photo to the photo of the National Cold Storage buildings in the blog post I linked to my earlier comment, which was taken from approximately the same place, I think you’ll have to agree that the Pierhouse obstructs the view of the bridge a great deal more than did the National Cold storage buildings. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2898f60ec24045440f8d535909a296a159b60d6c770aace031052f6ddbf43586.jpg

  • BBP – Dave

    I wouldn’t say “a great deal more”. As you noted, the cold storage warehouse bulkheads already obstructed. This is minimally more obstruction. I do not think that reasonable person could look at these two photos and say that there is a significant difference. There is a difference, but come on.

  • gc

    To me the difference is pretty dramatic. The new structures clearly impinge more on the roadway of the bridge than the Cold Storage building did. Add to this the more massive feel and the hideous window design of the Pierhouse and what you end up with is a structure that screams for more attention than the old structure, and in fact it competes with the bridge for viewer’s attention.

  • BBP Dave

    Well, I am not talking about the visual impact of the facade design. To me, the building being new and clean is an upgrade over a crumbling concrete bunker-like warehouse. What I am talking about is the impact of blocking views of the bridge. Both buildings impede on the lower section of the roadway. The Cold Storage building blocks section of the upper roadway, but not all the way across. The Pierhouse blocks it more consistently all the way across. On the other hand, the cold storage building is much wider than the pierhouse so it is actually more massive. I can acknowledge that the pierhouse blocks somewhat more but i don’t see how you can justify the use of the word “dramatic”. Certainly Claude’s phrasing of the pierhouse as something that is “blotting out” the bridge compared to the Cold Storage building seems to be an overstatement.

  • gc

    I said “to me” the difference is pretty dramatic. To me the Cold Storage building was easily ignored and just disappeared into the background, Instead of disappearing, the Pierhouse, with hideous window design and more angular structures, forces itself to be noticed. The view of the bridge suffers as a result.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    I agree with BBP, reasonable people can disagree, that the view blockage compared to storage building is relatively minor. The new hotel more than makes up for its obstruction with a cool lounge, outdoor dining on ground floor plus bar and restaurant on 10th floor in near future. On the other hand, the views that are destroyed by the building in Manhattan are shocking, especially when standing in BBP looking west from DUMBO. The building totally obliterates view of west tower on Manhattan Bridge by being in the background.

  • Andrew Porter

    Actually, it’s the first of several enormous buildings going up there. See discussion and photo on The Real Deal here:

    http://tinyurl.com/mv4w7lq

  • Andrew Porter
  • Andrew Porter

    Some day in the future, when Trump is no longer President, and this entire area is under the rising waves of the Atlantic, people will say, “I wonder if we can strip the copper wires out of those buildings?”

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com/ Claude Scales

    It’s also subsuming the East Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge as seen from the Promenade. As for the 1 Hotel at Pierhouse, having been the beneficiary of your tour, I agree the public areas are very nice. I just wish it wasn’t so tall. As you may recall, Otis Pratt Pearsall, our preservation pioneer and champion, negotiated a deal with the first generation of BBP management that whatever was built on what is now the Pierhouse site would be no taller than the roofline of the National Cold Storage buildings, and that any bulkheads or other “permitted obstructions” would be included in this height limit. This would have not only preserved the existing view but improved on it. Unfortunately, it seems that this agreement was never formalized beyond an exchange of e-mails, and was either unknown to or ignored by successive management.

  • gc

    Says it all … a monstrosity!

  • judifrancis

    The park took down the building under the bridge – an historic structure that had landmark status – in order to “free up” the views of the river. This park is named for the Great Bridge and thus, care should have been taken to enhance views of the bridge, not destroy them as the Park Administrators have done. In fact, Tony Manheim and the BBP Defense Fund commissioned 3-D renderings of these buildings way back in 2005. It clearly showed the harm to views, even before the buildings grew in size and were moved further south. Petty bureaucrats – whose response is to parse the fenestration and facade color, entirely missing the big picture – are certainly not appropriate stewards of this important, historic place. And their lack of understanding and appreciation for park lands continues today with the unnecessary buildings on Pier 6 that will forever remove more acres of park land for no reason whatsoever but to continue the march of mediocracy.

  • B.

    I agree. “To me” the new structure is an eyesore whereas I hardly noticed the old one.