WRITTEN BY ALISON SKILTON
On October 26, Brooklyn Bridge Park celebrated the opening of 3.5 acres of new parkland on Pier 6 at the park’s sixth annual Harvest Festival. The ceremony marked the conclusion of the pier’s renovations and brought Brooklyn Bridge Park as whole to 75 percent completion.
Located at the pier’s southernmost tip, the newly opened parkland boasts a variety of native plant life, large grass areas, and an unrivaled view of the Manhattan skyline.
The new lawns and gardens are a relaxing area that offers a getaway from the busier Piers 2 & 5 and the playground on Pier 6, which opened in 2010.
Michael Van Valkenburgh, President and CEO of the firm that designed the park, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc., stated at the ribbon cutting, “Pier 6 stands out as a particularly exciting moment in the park because it combines the experience of being out in the harbor with the pleasures of a beautifully textured coastal plant palette that you don’t typically see in the city.”
“This new parkland is a great addition to Brooklyn Bridge Park,” New York State Assembly member Jo Anne Simon said. “I look forward to seeing Brooklyn residents enjoy this wonderful new space.”
In addition to providing a family-friendly relaxation area for park-goers, the new lawns and gardens provide a connection between the existing park and the busy downtown attractions just a short walk away on Atlantic Avenue.
“With the completion of Pier 6 we look forward to continuing our work in creating a pleasant seamless connection for pedestrians between the park and our wonderful shops and restaurants,” Josef Szende, executive director of the Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District, said at the event.
With its abundance of greenery, winding walkways, and flower-filled meadows, it’s hard to imagine that just seven years ago, the pier was nothing but an abandoned concrete slab jutting out into the East River. Many Brooklynites saw potential in the space—with its expansive waterfront and unparalleled views of the city—and petitioned for its renovation.
Now the park stands as a testament to Brooklyn’s renaissance into a family-oriented, up-and-coming borough. The addition of the site’s newest parklands only adds to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s dream-like transformation from abandoned industrial site to one of Brooklyn’s most beautiful areas.