Work began this month on the last portion of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the space beneath the Brooklyn Bridge that has for some time been a vacant lot, occasionally used for events like Photoville (this year Photoville was presented in various locations throughout the Park). The lot was previously occupied by the City’s Purchase Building , which had a striking Art Deco design.
After year of lying nearly fallow, except for a time when it was a staging and storage area for equipment and supplies used in the extensive renovation of Brooklyn Bridge, the lot is now being developed as “a flexible public space that will add two acres of parkland and connect the DUMBO section of Brooklyn Bridge Park with the southern piers.” Renderings of the space as it should appear when completed are on the Park web page linked above.
The space will, most appropriately in our view, be named Emily Roebling Plaza, for the woman who supervised the Bridge’s construction while her husband, the engineer Washington Roebling, lay incapacitated from caisson disease caused by his work in submerged chambers during the construction of the foundations of the Bridge’s towers. Mr. Roebling did what he could by watching progress on construction with a telescope from their home at 110 Columbia Heights (the house has since been demolished; its location is now occupied by 124 Columbia Heights; see here.)
Image: Oil portrait of Emily Warren Roebling by Charles-Émile-Auguste Carolus-Duran, 1896. Brooklyn Museum