Brooklyn Bridge Park Completes Expansions and Improvements to Green, Waterfront Oasis
By Yehudit Garmaise
Brooklyn Bridge Park, which just 10 years ago, was an abandoned waterfront, today is an 85-acre urban oasis that is enjoyed by millions of people, said Mayor Bill de Blasio, yesterday, after he cut the ribbon to celebrate the completion of the park’s extensive renovations exactly one year after city officials broke ground.
Completed in 1883 after 14 years of construction, the Brooklyn Bridge was, at the time, the world’s longest suspension bridge and the first to be built with steel cables.
“Brooklyn Bridge Park has long been an oasis for me and so many other visitors, in Brooklyn and beyond,” said Mayor-elect Eric Adams, who as Brooklyn borough president allocated $1.5 million to the project.
The city added two acres of parkland that are beautifully landscaped with trees, lawns, and benches and added a new plaza that is named for Emily Warrant Roebling, who oversaw the bridge’s construction from 1869 to 1883, after her husband, the bridge’s chief architect fell ill and Mr. Roebling’s father, John Augustus Roebling, the bridge’s principal designer, passed away.
The park also eased pedestrian traffic by connecting its southern piers to the DUMBO section at a spot that provides an incredible view of the Brooklyn Bridge below.
In addition, pedestrian safety has been enhanced with the installation of more than 100 protective bollards, which are short posts that guide traffic and mark boundaries: stretching from Old Fulton Street and Furman Street to Water Street and New Dock Street.
“Brooklyn Bridge Park is a spectacular example of how our administration has delivered unprecedented public access to New York City’s waterfront,” said the mayor, who paid tribute to Mrs. Roebling, with whom steelmaker Abram S. Hewitt said that the bridge “would ever be coupled.”
Now Emily Warren Roebling Plaza is surrounded by trees, benches, and paved paths that echoes the patterns of the bridge that Roebling helped to construct.
The adjacent Empire Fulton Ferry lawn, which was also renovated, reopened earlier this year, to better connect the two spaces.
"The opening of the final section of Brooklyn Bridge Park is a dream realized,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. “Increasing public access and adding open space is integral to improving the quality of life for New Yorkers throughout our city, and that is not a luxury, but a necessity.
"With the addition of this space under the majestic Brooklyn Bridge, this park fortifies itself as a coveted destination for those seeking recreation, relaxation, and an opportunity to admire history.”