Fancy waterfalls, grassy parks, and picnicking families have been replacing concrete, refuse, and pier sheds at the bottom end of Manhattan, where legends of mafia murders once reigned. Notable in this gradual process: landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh has finished demolition of the old Pier 1 piers near Brooklyn Heights, one step in his plans to develop 1.3 miles along the East River to ultimately connect DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights. The end park will be a matter of 85 acres of lawns, beaches, restored habitats, playgrounds, sports facilities, and landscaped gardens.
Here's the breakdown: To the north of this area is the Cove Between the Bridges, the area between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges on the Brooklyn side that welcomes some 60 species of birds. South of that are the Main Street Section, the Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, Fulton Ferry Landing, and Pier 1, which Valkenburgh is donning with 180,000 cubic yards of material from Fresh Kills channels dredged by the Army Corps of Engineers.
The existing parkland of Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1—home of this summer's Movie with a View series and the Eliasson waterfalls—will be open until September 28.