After a year of community workshops, architecture firm WXY Studio has presented its recommendations to link the waterfront, courthouses and the Navy Yard with a series of green spaces — an effort known as the Brooklyn Strand. The Strand would create more public space and easier walking around areas that have been neglected by the Parks Department or made inaccessible by the BQE. During a Community Board 2 meeting on Monday, which we attended, WXY principal Claire Weisz offered improvements and renderings for Borough Hall Park, Cadman Plaza Park, Commodore Barry Park and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.
Here are the recommendations:
The parking lot next to Borough Hall could be moved underground, freeing up space to build a covered cafe with seating and space for events. Another plan calls for renovating the Brooklyn War Memorial and transforming it into a visitors center. Weisz also suggested adding bike lanes around Cadman Plaza Park, making it more accessible and establishing a better link with the Brooklyn Bridge.
The area where pedestrians come off the Brooklyn Bridge at Prospect Street could be made into a land bridge and park space, where people could relax and take in views of Manhattan. Another recommendation would add lighting and seating to the underpass where pedestrians exit the bridge via stairs, and possibly convert a maintenance area into a cafe. And the city could host an outdoor market or public events underneath the bridge anchorages, which are currently closed to the public.
The presentation also suggested traffic calming measures, including closing one of the Manhattan Bridge off-ramps, adding bike lanes around Cadman Plaza and Jay Street and widening sidewalks.
Downtown Brooklyn Partnership helped spearhead the effort with WXY and led 30 walkthroughs of the proposed Strand. Questions remain about funding and what comes next. At the end of the meeting, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership President Tucker Reed said they are looking for letters of support from the public to pass on to the City.
Check out the whole presentation here, and take a look at tons of renderings below.
What do you think of the proposal?