At the Parks and Recreation Committee meeting, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC), presented the Main Street park’s final design (pdf). Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) is proposing 37,617 square feet (0.863 acres) of land be redesigned in the Main Street section of the park at the end of Washington Street.
The CB2 Board next step – make a decision to recommend the design to the Public Design Commission. What do you think?
[+] (Existing site at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Main Street)
[+] (Rendering of proposed design for entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park from Plymouth Street courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.)
[+] (Existing site at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Adams/John St entry)
[+] (Rendering of proposed design for entrance to Brooklyn Bridge Park from Adams Street courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.)
[+] (Rendering of proposed design for Brooklyn Bridge Park courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.)
[+] (Existing site at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Main Street)
[+] (preliminary design of Main Street Conversion Site, October 15, 2012)
Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) is proposing 37,617 square feet (0.863 acres) of land in the Main Street section of the park at the end of Washington Street a final design for the site. The section of the park is currently used for non-park municipal purposes, the parcels that house an indoor facility that was used by NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) as a water meter testing site, the streetbed of Washington Street, which is currently used as a parking lot for the NYCDEP facility, and a New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) paint shed.
Once developed, these replacement parcels would be integrated into the Main Street section of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which has already been developed as a waterfront park space with beach access.
Leigh Trucks, senior project manager for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC), will present the park’s final design for the Main Street Conversion Site. The presentation is made for CB2 recommendation to the Public Design Commission.
The presentation of the preliminary design made at the October 15, 2012 parks committee meeting: PDF file (6mb file)
A summary of the proposed use of replacement parcels is on the BBPC site (PDF file).
The Dumbo Improvement District notes that two new restaurants will open in the former Governor and Rice spaces. The Atrium, at 15 Main Street, will offer casual fine dining showcasing locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. At 81 Washington Street, Mediterranean restaurant Dish is scheduled to open in June.
The Atrium (owned by Cobblestone Restaurant Group) received their liquor license last month. The restaurant seats 63 and will open Mon-Wed 5:30pm-12am, Thur-Sat 11:30am-2am, Sun 11:30am-12am. According to the Community Board 2, the owners of The Atrium have extensive experience in 4 star restaurants in Europe and USA and have worked with Daniel Boloud and Jean Georges.
[UPDATE: From NY Times (May 28, 2013): “ATRIUM The space that housed Governor until Sandy blew in has new owners, a team that met at DB Bistro Moderne. Laurent Kalkotour, who was executive chef, will run the kitchen; Alexander LaPratt, who was a sommelier, will be beverage director; Leslie Affre, who was the maître d’, will be the manager. They plan to open this summer: 15 Main Street (Water Street), Dumbo, Brooklyn.”]
15 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
The L Mag’s annual 50 Best Blocks in Brooklyn was posted last week. Among the best included a few in Dumbo, one in Vinegar Hill, and Brooklyn Heights:
Best Urban Palimpsest: Plymouth Street, between Washington and Main streets, DUMBO “On one side are old Gairville warehouses, repurposed for start-ups and a (now out-of-business) restaurant; on the other, a mod Brooklyn Bridge Park playground. In the middle are belgian blocks cut through with decommissioned rails, driving over which you might spot an aughts-model sports car (as we did the other day).”
Best Honest-to-Goodness Alleyway: Howard Alley, DUMBO “Watch a Hollywood movie set in NYC, and you’ll likely see at some point a character dash down an alley. But truth is this city ain’t got many alleys, at least not anymore. (It’s the one thing Chicago has on us.) But this back-passage in DUMBO looks just like the genuine article—much cooler than nearby Fleet Alley, a glorified driveway—complete with a scary door at its end we’d dare never approach, let alone pass through.”
Best-Smelling Block: Front Street, between Adams and Washington streets, DUMBO “We walk down this street to work almost every day and are greeted by olfactory goodness. First the smell of freshly made juices from Foragers, then the toasted bread from the panini grill at Al Mar, and finally the scent of bacon-y goodness from Peas & Pickles. Then, of course, you cross the street and get assaulted by the mysterious sewage smell outside of West Elm and are forced to recognize that happiness is fleeting and garbage is always around the corner. Such is life.”
Cutest Private Street: Harrison Alley, Vinegar Hill “If you’ve never wandered through the strange few blocks that constitute Vinegar Hill, you really should. Like, just around the corner from the popular Vinegar Hill House restaurant is this alley, basically a driveway, long-since (always?) fenced off by the people who live in the house at its end. (A curious sculpture surrounds their mailbox on the public side of the fence.) Yet it still has an official city street sign, adorably hanging off a crooked pole.”
Best Bike Lane Block: Flushing Avenue, between Washington Avenue and Hall Street, Clinton Hill “Just in general, Flushing is one of the borough’s most reliable thoroughfares for cyclists, but the stretch along the Brooklyn Navy Yards, starting at Washington? Pure bliss. Here, there’s an actual cement barrier separating you and your bike from oblivious drivers. It’s almost too good to be true!”
(One of) Five Best Blocks to Live On
College Place, Brooklyn Heights “Love Lane is the one everyone knows, but it’s this side street off that side street that’s really where you’ll find some of the prettiest housing stock in Brooklyn. Get down to the end and it’s just ridiculously European—plus totally secluded, even though you’re a very short walk away from stores and subways.”
Belgian block restoration on Water and Washington Streets in Dumbo started in May 2009 and completed in September 2011. The NYC Department of Transportation installed a new 14″ thermal block bicycle lane in the center lane of Washington Street, a look that disappointed preservationists. Doreen Gallo told us (in November 2011) that most people are unaware of what is being sacrificed and what the difference is between restoring the Belgian block in an historic, authentic way and the recent execution on Washington and Water Streets.
Today, The New York Times published an article that the city “has offered to install new cobbles that are aged artificially, like a pair of stonewashed jeans, to appear more worn.”
“Somebody cut those things — thousands of people,” said Doreen Gallo, the executive director of the Dumbo Neighborhood Alliance, a residents’ group. “And we’re careless.”
The Transportation Department has pledged to save as many of the old cobblestones as possible. Some have been retained, but turned 90 degrees to create makeshift bike lanes, pointing in the direction of traffic flow — a visually striking intervention that the city “just made up,” Ms. Gallo mused, to promote cycling.
But many of the stones must be replaced, the Transportation Department said, in part because, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, stones on a crosswalk or sidewalk must vary in height by no more than a quarter of an inch — far less a discrepancy than is found along the typical stretch of Belgian block.
Mindful of some community members’ disdain for the machine-cut cobbles that already exist on Washington Street, the department has promised an exhaustive search for the perfect replica stone. (Technically, cobblestones are rounded and irregular, but New Yorkers generally describe Belgian blocks as cobblestones.)
Andy Wiley-Schwartz, the Transportation Department’s assistant commissioner for public space said that in a citywide study in neighborhoods that retain their historic stones, including TriBeCa, SoHo and the meatpacking district, “…you see a much more uniform color and size of stone,” he said. “In Dumbo, there are a variety of colors and a variety of sizes.”
Residents from the Vinegar Hill Neighborhood Association have posted an online petition to preserve the original Belgian block streets in Vinegar Hill. Their letter states:
To: The City of New York As a resident or friend of Vinegar Hill, I oppose the use of mass-produced, modern cobblestones in Vinegar Hill.
Hence, when the planned sewer and water work on Water Street in Vinegar Hill are complete, I oppose the use of machine-made or machine-altered cobblestones of any kind or for any purpose in Vinegar Hill because they are incompatible with the designated historic character of our landmarked neighborhood, of which our Belgian blocks are a vital and irreplaceable component.
I also oppose the addition of a bike lane on Water Street made from anything but our own historic Belgian Blocks.
This measns infrastructure changes to Water Street (sewer work, water work, etc.) should faithfully restore in kind, not replace or redesign in any way, our historic Belgian block street surfaces.
Additionally, any planned changes to curbs and intersections should not include modern materials or designs. Sincerely, [Your name]
What do you think about the restoration of the streets in Dumbo?
A TV movie Murder in Manhattan is being filmed in Dumbo Brooklyn today on Washington Street, Front Street, and Jay Street. According to IMBD, the plot is centers on mother Blythe and daughter Lex who team up as amateur sleuths. The sassy Lex works in the Mayor’s office by day, and works as sleuth with Blythe by night.