The Brooklyn waterfront has a long and vibrant history of the hustle and bustle of commerce. It has been a transportation hub, a haven for immigrants, an artistic center, and much more. Today, while elements of that storied history remain, it is now primarily Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park is a place to play, relax, mingle, sight see, and explore. Thanks to a collaborative effort between the park and the Brooklyn Historical Society, there is a series of historical markers throughout the park detailing the history of the waterfront.
In the early 1980s when cargo
operations ceased, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was planning
to sell the piers for commercial development. That sparked dreams of a public
park for the community. This took decades of battling
and planning. In 2000, the Port Authority agreed to let the piers be used as
City and state funds were
designated to help make the park a reality. Officials broke ground in 2008, and
the first six acres opened in 2010 at Pier 1. Another 12 acres along Pier 6 and
Piers 1 and 2 uplands were added later that year. Each year since, the park has
featured the additions of more land and recreational amenities. By 2015, almost
two-thirds of the park was complete. When it is finished, it will be 85 acres
along 1.3 miles beside the East River. It is a financially self-sustaining
Brooklyn Bridge Park features a
wide range of activities and amenities for people of all ages and interests.
Among the features the park offers are an environmental education center, climbing
walls, free open runs, performing arts, sculptures, playgrounds, sports fields
and courts, a hockey league, a designated bike path, Fulton Ferry Landing, Jane’s
Carousel, picnic areas, fishing, dining, sand volleyball, a roller rink,
regular special events, ample green space, and dynamic views of the Brooklyn
Bridge and the lower Manhattan skyline.