When Parks Must Rely on Private Money
A majestic staircase of granite rises some 30 feet above the Brooklyn edge of the East River, revealing a panorama that sweeps from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Midtown Manhattan. A salt marsh lined in limestone offers a contemplative look at the river as ecosystem. Along paths winding up manufactured hills and ridges are hundreds of trees that outline velvety fields of green, according to the New York Times.
This is Brooklyn Bridge Park, perched atop a ribbon of piers, and already hailed for its design and scope. But the park is taking shape only in fits and starts, and even opening the small part that is complete has been delayed until spring as the city and state hash out questions of money and control.
Despite 20 years of planning, work has barely begun on the bulk of the project. The $350 million construction budget is still short $125 million, and no one is sure who will come up with the $16 million needed each year for operations and maintenance.
Like the other important, expensive New York City green spaces built in recent years — Hudson River Park and the High Line — this one is arriving piecemeal as it awaits fresh infusions of money. And like the others, this park faces an uncertain future as the recession and resistance to its source of financing — in this case, luxury apartments — threaten its ability to move forward.
New York Times - February 5, 2010 - By Diane Cardwell