The Dumbo Neighborhood Association is sponsoring a rally this Sunday in Dumbo for those who want to learn about and show support “for a comprehensive, contextual rezoning plan that supports a positive future for all of DUMBO’s inhabitants.” The Rally to Save the Brooklyn Bridge is being held on Sunday, January 11th, 2009 at 10:30am (Corner of Washington St. & Prospect St.) to support appropriate development in the DUMBO neighborhood – the proposed Dock Street development included – that will not compromise the majesty of the Brooklyn Bridge. We asked Sheryl Buchholz, President of the DNA to share the DNA’s viewpoints on why the rally and what’s so important about it?
“The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most cherished structures in the United States. 7 days a week, visitors from around the World walk over the Bridge and take photos. Movie shoots, documentaries and books use this area to show the significance, beauty and the grace of our entire city with photos on and around the Brooklyn side of the Bridge.
This part of Brooklyn is considered one of our country’s first suburbs and the ferries at Fulton Landing, followed by the Brooklyn Bridge when completed in 1883, were used by the first commuters. The increase in density due to spot zoning changes at Dock Street will increase congestion and pollution; it will also seriously compromise one of the most historic waterfront areas in the country, if not the world.
DUMBO, Fulton Ferry Landing and the Brooklyn Bridge itself are all National, State and New York City-designated landmarks and historic districts. The very nature of these landmarked areas are under significant and what could be catastrophic development pressures should Dock Street bed approved. And, while the proposed school, affordable housing and “green” building are all laudable features in any development, they have become the distraction over significant and permanent zoning changes to a fragile area.
As stated above, the DUMBO Neighborhood Association is not opposed to a building being constructed at Dock Street, and absolutely supports a school or affordable housing at the site. What we are opposed to is an almost 500 car garage under the bridge; a very tall building that will cast significant shadows on the surrounding blocks; eliminate the view of the Manhattan Bridge from the Brooklyn Bridge walkway; and forever change the Brooklyn waterfront and skyline. The proposed development as currently presented eliminates seeing the historic buildings and streets from the walkway of the Bridge itself. We need contextual development that can accommodate a school, stores and services at substantially less than 210 feet high – as proposed – when that portion of the building is only between 70 feet and 90 feet from the Bridge. A wider building that has a height limit of 75 feet under the R7B recommended by Community Board 2’s Land Use Committee – similar to existing historic warehouses in both DUMBO and Fulton Ferry Landing – would allow for a 135,000 square feet building that would not be higher than the walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The kind of building that is being proposed would never be allowed to overshadow the Washington Monument; St. Paul’s Cathedral in London; the Eiffel Tower in Paris; and other World-class monuments throughout the globe. It would be a disgrace if we allowed it to happen here, as ultimately it would benefit only one person in DUMBO: the developer.”
Supporters of the controversial project dispute the anti-Dock Street group’s claims that views of the bridge would be blocked by the building. The full community board will vote on the proposed rezoning on Jan. 14 at 6 pm at Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street, at Court Street).