Budget Cuts Nix Squibb Bridge to Park

The Brooklyn Paper reports that the proposed bridge between Squibb Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park has been slashed from the latest NYC budget by Mayor Bloomberg:

Brookyn Paper: “By the end of 2009, Pier 1 and Pier 6 are expected to be open to the public making the long awaited dream of Brooklyn Bridge Park a reality,” the [Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation] said in a statement.

Besides the grand entrances at Atlantic Avenue and Old Fulton Street, the bridge to Squibb Park was seen as a vital access point to the long sliver of a park and its loss is further erosion of the highly touted park designs.

Losing it means the park “might lose the only link from Brooklyn Heights,” said Judi Francis, a frequent critic of the project’s management.

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  • ABC

    I admit I don’t get it. Of all the things that cost money — cleaning up that park and stairway seems the least of it.

  • nabeguy

    I never quite understood the thinking behind this bridge as, by the time you walked down the switch-back ramps and crossed the park to the bridge, you could just as easily walked straight down the Hill to Everett Street in less time. It’s loss, however, will fundamentally change the pedestrian traffic-flow into the park by limiting access points to it. This could be a very penny wise, dangerously pound foolish decision in the end.

  • ABC

    agree nabeguy, and don’t you think switchbacks, etc could have been a real opportunity for san fran style plantings, etc. I’m 100% pro-park but I think it’s got a lot of chelsea piers/industrial chic in it’s blood and not nearly enough 19-20th century romantic park “moments”.

  • nabeguy

    ABC, it will be all about the modern. Witness the “pop-up” park of last summer. Very today cute, not yesterday quaint. But afterall, we’re not riding around on bicycles built for two and sporting straw boaters anymore, either, so perhaps the mix of the old above and the new down below might present an interesting dichotomy.

  • epc

    A bridge would enable parkgoers to walk over the dragstrip formerly known as Furman Street. The last plan I saw for the BQE rebuild has traffic diverting down Furman (this was from last year, and the rebuild is 5-7 years off), but that would be another argument for a bridge.

    In the ~9 years I’ve lived in Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO I don’t think I’ve seen Squibb park open once. There was some sort of cleanup effort around 2002-2003 but it never actually opened. When did it close?

  • Curmudgeon

    I do not see this as a great loss. Squibb Park has always been creepy and though it would have been good to clean up, the zig-zag ramps are not a very inviting entrance. As far as I am concerned no access from the Heights is through Squibb Park may be a blessing in disguise.

  • Mark

    Should be a water slide from Squibb down to the new park’s fountain, right over Furman.

  • ABC

    While I hear you about the lack of straw boaters, I regret that we seem unable to build anything that seems particularly lasting these days. If someone were to propose a Palace of Fine Arts kinda park, we’d ask, okay, but where are the handball courts? The plan is sadly not all that “modern” either. It’s just … there. Chicago has recently done a remarkable job building modern public spaces lately with art and space as its focus rather than sports.

    About Squibb Park, I know there’s a request to have the playground redone so it can be used for PS8. The annex – and its construction — will take over much of the playground on the property.

  • nabeguy

    I heard that PS 8 proposal too. Having been around long enough to remember when the playground was open (and where I first learned the dangerous trick of standing on a swing), I’d welcome its renovation, especially the six-jet sprinklers that were our alternative to open hydrants. If the DOE can get around the liability issues of an off-site play area for the school, it sounds like a good alternative plan.
    I really haven’t focused enough on the Park plans and renderings (and all the permutations they’ve gone through) to have come to a decisive conclusion on its merits or lack thereof. I did enjoy the pop-up park last summer, but that may have been a function of its small scale. If the same aesthetic were to be expanded to a larger area, I’d probably mistake the place for Alphaville.

  • davoyager

    My favorite kid park growing up. Pick up basketball every Saturday, sprinklers in the summer, quiet lunch outdoors for grownups, playground for PS 8, wonderful oaks and squirrels, middle school kid equipment. I have been waiting for them to finally reopen this hidden gem. Am I always to be disappointed?

  • Luke C

    Considering how precarious the financing of the whole park is, it seems like a reasonable cut.

  • Neighborhood Observer

    Squibb Park as an entry to the BBP makes sense. It was always a little scary as a park since there is only one way in and out. But, hey, this is not the only way from BH to BBP or are they closing the end of Joralemon?

  • Clarknt67

    [i]Chicago has recently done a remarkable job building modern public spaces lately with art and space as its focus rather than sports.[/i]
    I can’t help thinking with the huge problem this country, and yes, even this city has with obsesity… A park focused on kayaking, skateboarding, rollerblading, biking, ice skating, etc… IS PROGRESS and something to be celebrated.

    But I LOVE to do all those things.

  • Andrew Porter

    The park was recently renovated, with new benches and newly cleaned up paving areas. I remember when it was open frequently, and the neat thing was that the swings were adult-sized. Curiously, I believe the place is one of the last of the old-style parks in the city, with those water-jet wading areas for kids (retrofitted with basketball hoops) and a smaller one for toddlers. Someone should take photos for posterity before they do something to destroy it all. Wasn’t one of the plans to cut down all the trees that shade the thing?