by Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 22, 2014
Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) today opened two new sections of the park, adding another six acres of recreation space and accessible waterfront. Pier 2 features five acres of active recreation, including courts for basketball, handball, shuffleboard and bocce, as well as a full size roller skating rink (opening in late June), swings, picnic tables, restrooms, lockers and fitness equipment. In addition, BBP unveiled the Pier 4 Beach, a sandy shoreline that allows park visitors access to the East River for non-motorized boating and educational programs. Capital funding for the new parkland was secured through allocations from the City of New York. Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development and BBP Chair Alicia Glen was joined by New York City Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, BBP President Regina Myer, Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Member Joan Millman, Council Members Stephen Levin and Robert J. Cornegy and Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Executive Director Nancy Webster.
“Since its opening in 2010, Brooklyn Bridge Park has fast become a major attraction and community amenity,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “Today, we celebrate another milestone for the Park. These new piers offer six more acres of active recreation and enjoyment, and put us within reach of the Park’s completion.”
“Brooklyn Bridge Park leads the way in reclaiming the city’s waterfront,” said Commissioner Silver. “With the addition of Pier 2 and Pier 4 Beach – and in time for the summer season – New Yorkers have even more opportunities to access the Brooklyn waterfront and enjoy a variety of wonderful amenities. I look forward to seeing this beautiful public space being enjoyed by all.”
“The Pier 5 fields are a resounding success in attracting visitors who enjoy more active recreation,” said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “With the addition of Pier 2, there are even more opportunities for visitors from all over the city to engage in recreational activities at the park. The Pier 4 beach also allows visitors to interact with the waterfront in new and exciting ways. I look forward to welcoming even more people to the park’s second major active recreation pier, and the beautiful open space of Pier 4 Beach.”
“Brooklyn Bridge Park is taking another major step forward in providing even more recreation, restored habitat, and water access to the residents of Brooklyn, New York City, and the world,” said Nancy Webster, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. “We commend the City of New York for funding the park, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates for designing it, and our colleagues at Brooklyn Bridge Park for making it happen.”
“With more active recreation space opening just in time for summer, we can expect New Yorkers to take advantage of the waterfront, play outdoor sports and improve their health,” said Rep Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY). “Bringing more New Yorkers and tourists to this area also means they will visit nearby businesses, helping fuel our local economy. I look forward to seeing the waterfront further improved and revitalized.”
“With the opening of Pier 2 and its active recreation opportunities as well as Pier 4 Beach, we can truly call Brooklyn Bridge Park ‘peerless,’” said Brooklyn Borough President Adams. “I am proud to be a supporter of this landmark park, which continues to raise the bar for open space in our city and sets a model for how we can reconnect with our beautiful waterfront. Brooklynites and visitors from all over the world will enjoy a wide variety of athletic activities at Pier 2, while at Pier 4 Beach they will get a great appreciation of our local ecology. And, as always, the entirety of Brooklyn Bridge Park will continue to serve as one of the great jewels of our beloved borough.”
“New active and passive recreation on Piers 2 and 4 are a great addition to Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Senator Squadron. “I’m sure the new athletic facilities and beach will prove as popular with families as the pop-up pool, BBQ pits, and other active recreation we have been able to bring to the park. It’s another step forward to make Brooklyn Bridge Park a terrific destination for Brooklynites, New Yorkers, and beyond.”
“This is a great day for Brooklyn Bridge Park with the opening of two new sections of the park Piers 2 and 4, which includes courts for every age group to play basketball, handball, shuffleboard and bocce,” said Assembly Member Millman. “In addition there will be a roller skating rink, swings, picnic tables, and fitness equipment. We have a sandy beach at Pier 4 that everyone can enjoy. And just in time for the Memorial Day Weekend!”
“The opening of Pier 2 and Pier 4 Beach comes just in time for summer and will provide New Yorkers needed recreation space and waterfront access,” said Council Member Levin. “Whether you are interested in basketball, roller skating, bird watching, or just want to relax on the beach, Pier 2 and Pier 4 Beach has something to offer for you. I encourage everyone to visit Brooklyn Bridge Park to check out these wonderful new additions.”
“Our parks and waterfronts, with their beautiful views of the New York City skyline, are a huge part of what makes this town such an incredible place to live,” said Council Member Cornegy. “I encourage all New Yorkers, particularly those from Central Brooklyn, to take advantage of the new amenities and resources being offered in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Skate, try kayaking or organize a pick-up game next to the river. You’ll clear your mind, exercise your body and likely find me, my wife and our children doing the same.”
At Pier 2, visitors can enjoy five full-sized basketball courts, including one with fully adjustable hoops. Much of the amenities are covered by the pier’s original storage shed structure to provide shading and rain shelter. The full-size roller skating rink, which will open in late June and be operated by United Skates of America, Inc., has hockey boards running the perimeter, multiple entrances and player boxes, and will provide opportunities for roller and in-line skating, roller hockey and roller derby. The operators, who were selected last year as a result of an RFP process, will rent skating equipment and manage the rink schedule to allow for a mix of public skate time, recreational league play, and special events including free skate sessions on Mondays and Fridays from 3 to 6 pm, and Sundays from 10 am to noon.
Pier 2 also features six handball courts, three shuffleboard courts, two full-sized Bocce courts, and a workout area featuring fitness equipment that includes three ADA-specific pieces. A half-acre of artificial turf has been installed for non-organized active play and there is a multi-colored play surface with children’s swings, along with picnic tables, restrooms, lockers, bike racks and water stations. Moveable team benches and bleachers are available for both the basketball courts and the roller rink. The pier and all facilities are fully ADA accessible. Open hours are 6 am to 11 pm, with lights on for evening play. The perimeter of the pier is a 30-foot wide promenade that offers magnificent views of lower Manhattan and the New York Harbor. Returning this year will be the Pier 2 Dock. Operated by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, the dock provides the launch for walk-up kayaking at Pier 2 every Saturday, 10 am to 3 pm, and Thursday, 5:30 pm to 6:45 pm, from June 7 to August 31.
The 650-foot-long, five-acre pier was built by New York Dock Company in 1950s for commercial shipping and warehousing, and operated by Port Authority of New York and New Jersey until the early 2000’s. The original building frame was retained and retrofitted with a new metal roof and skylights to provide shade and rain protection, while much of the site’s marine structure has been renovated and reused – including the pier decks, frames, cheek walls, roof frame and the Pier 2 lettering. The concrete deck is supported by 2,500 timber piles, and the 2/3 subway tunnels run under the pier. Recycled and salvaged materials have been used as much as possible in the pier’s construction.
The Pier 4 beach provides another area of the park where visitors can access the river. Project elements include a stabilized stone shoreline, an 11,000 square foot sand beach and a boat ramp bordered with granite salvaged from the Willis Avenue Bridge project. Further offshore, the remnants of a railroad float transfer bridge, now inaccessible, will be transformed into a nature preserve known as Bird Island. The pier was originally used to receive cargo train cars that transferred at the Lackawanna Terminal on the Jersey side. Soil stabilized at the edges with stone riprap will be planted with native species to encourage the growth of a diverse ecology. An Osprey platform has been installed in the hopes of attracting large fishing birds.
The removal of concrete bulkhead at Pier 4 has dramatically transformed the former industrial shoreline and restored waterfront access to allow for non-motorized boating and educational activities. Another feature of Pier 4 Beach is the incorporation of seven precast tide pools that will allow for the study of marine life. These unique structures, designed by the company ECOncrete, are constructed with a special concrete mix that reduces CO2 emissions and attracts marine life. This is the first time that the tide pools have been used in the United States.
In November 2013, BBP opened the Pier 3 Greenway Terrace, adding expansive lawns, a granite terrace and the first of the park’s sound attenuating hills. Park elements have being phased in steadily since the opening of Pier 1 in early 2010 and, with the opening of these two new sections, BBP is currently 57% complete. By the end of 2015, the park will be 72% complete. This expansion has allowed BBP to provide the venue for an ever-increasing and diverse roster of free events and activities, public art and performance, popular concerts and educational programming that serves students citywide.
About Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, known as Brooklyn Bridge Park, is the not-for-profit entity responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park stretching 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline. The self-sustaining park was designed by the award-winning firm of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. and features expansive lawns, waterfront promenades, innovative playgrounds, a greenway, sports facilities and the popular Jane’s Carousel.