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Brooklyn Bridge Park Gets A Groundbreaking: Building The Sheep Meadow Of Brooklyn

Brooklyn is about to get a little bit greener.

By James L. Knobloch October 31, 2016
Photo courtesy of Curbed NY

There’s a little bit more greenspace coming to Brooklyn Heights, as construction is officially underway on Pier 3 of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, “an 85-acre sustainable waterfront park spanning 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River shoreline.” When completed in the Spring of 2018 (allegedly), this five-acre, $26 million development will have transformed the pier from a desolate swath of post-industrial decay to a functional waterfront civic landscape—one of the final components of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Project, which as of 2016, is 90% completed or under construction

Related: Live Close (As You Can Get In Brooklyn) To Nature: Top Five Homes For Sale Near Prospect Park

“This park has become the front lawn of Brooklyn,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio at the recent groundbreaking. “And Pier 3 will add more space for kids to play and for families to enjoy this incredible place. We have made building Brooklyn Bridge Park and securing it for the long-term a major priority, and we are thrilled to support this latest addition.”

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Pier 3, like the rest of Brooklyn Bridge Park, was designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the firm behind Hudson Park and Boulevard, the urban plaza centerpiece of the Hudson Yards development. The plans call for “a playground, walking paths, vegetation, and a plaza,” as well as a labyrinth garden, consisting of shrubs and hedges of different size to “create an exploratory maze containing hexagonal picnic tables, mirrored games, and historic elements salvaged from the park.” Perhaps the most prominent feature of the Pier 3 will be its big central lawn, whose undulating edge will be made up of “groves of trees and shrubs, creating areas protected from wind and sun. A subtle elevation change in the lawn and the neighboring plantings will provide visitors with a unique experience that highlights the landscape and its waterfront location.” Or as Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park put it, the lawn of Pier 3 will be the park’s Sheep Meadow.

And if Pier 3 turns out as pretty as its renderings, with its stunning views—courtesy of its proximity to the ever-photogenic Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and the iconic Manhattan skyline just across the river—it’ll likely be just as crowded as Sheep Meadow in the springtime, too.

“A decade ago, our 85 acres were still a barren stretch of industrial wasteland. Today, 330,000 visitors enjoy our waterfront every week,” said Myer. “And now they’ll have Pier 3 – a beautiful central lawn and a fabulous play space that will transform this five acre concrete platform. I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved here.”

Here’s to future picnics on the pier—assuming you haven’t been priced out of Brooklyn by then.

James L. Knobloch

ABOUT THE AUTHOR James L. Knobloch

ABOUT THE AUTHOR James L. Knobloch

A creative professional with a sharp tongue and a big smile, taking on city living one slightly-veiled sarcastic comment at a time. Born and raised just outside of New Orleans, James is a living testament to his own mantra, “Southern hospitality is a privilege, not a right,” giving his work a unique, dry humor meets charm perspective.

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