The New Squibb Bridge
Rendering Courtesy of the Brooklyn Bridge Park
It’s been more than a year since the launch of Brooklyn Bridge Park, with the opening of Pier 1 in March 2010. The expansive lawns and temporary greenway connecting Piers 1 through 6 (opened August of 2010) have been among the most popular features of the park, open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. But several new recreational elements will be unveiled this summer.
Squibb Bridge, a walking bridge from Brooklyn Heights to Pier 1, is fully funded by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and City Council and has had preliminary approval by New York City’s Design Commission (see rendering below). Construction is set to start by late summer.
Already, a new portion of Pier 6 includes three sand volleyball courts overlooking the water, and additional lawns and pathways. New concessions include Bark Hog Dogs, Uncle Louie G’s, Blue Marble Ice Cream and the Milk Truck—open weekends only. By July, Bark plans to open a city-view cafe on the roof of the concession building, and to serve beer and wine there.
Pier 1 concessions include the Brooklyn Bridge Wine Bar, Calexico and Ditch Plains Drop-In open daily at Pier 1. Blue Marble Ice Cream is also open on weekends at Pier 1.
Into late summer, look for the opening of the circa 1922 Jane’s Carousel and re-opening of Empire Fulton Ferry, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. An all-weather, glass pavilion designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel will house the carousel. In warmer months, two sides of the pavilion will open to the elements, and in the cooler ones, it will be heated. There will be a small fee for carousel rides.
Storm water management, additional trees, new lighting and an expansion of the lawn, which will go south of Dock Street, are all in the works, according to Ellen Ryan, vice president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park corporation.
To see the park via bicycle, Bike and Roll bike rental stand sits outside of the entrance to Pier 1. Rentals are hourly or daily and include helmet and bike accessories.
There are now two dog runs, one at Main Street, the other at Pier 6.
For a look into the future, check out Pier 5 where divers have been doing work on the wooden pilings to encapsulate them in concrete. Ryan says that the expectation is for Pier 5 to open next summer with three recreational fields (soccer, cricket, lacrosse, softball), a picnic peninsula with barbecue pits and play equipment. At this time, Piers 2 and 3 are not funded, Ryan says, but plans include areas for basketball, tetherball, handball, bocce, tennis and in-line skating.
Meanwhile, there’s a complex battle ongoing between the park development corp. and the city on the one side, and several interested community groups, who oppose the construction of new condo buildings and a hotel along pier 1 and 6. The city wants to use the developments to pay for the park. Community leaders, and local politicians, say the private condos will make the park into a private park, restrict access to it and reduce the amount of park space available to the public.
The East River Ferry now leaving from Pier 1 will certainly be great for commuters and for getting to Williamsburg, $4 for a ten minute ride. The park also offers a free seasonal ferry service to Governors Island on Saturday and Sunday from Pier 6.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy is featuring, this summer, Syfy Movies with a View at Pier 1.
Brooklyn Bridge Park: http://www.brooklynbridgeparknyc.org/
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy: http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/
Governors Island Ferry: http://www.govisland.com/html/home/home.shtml
Jane’s Carousel: http://janescarousel.com/
Older SBP concessions story: http://southbrooklynpost.com/food-drink/eat-drink-bklyn-bridge-park/