The USS Monitor, built here in Greenpoint by Continental Ironworks in 1862, was one of the first iron-clad battle ships in the US Navy. During the Civil War, the Monitor took part in the “Battle of the Ironclads,” and money from the building of the Monitor contributed to the building of the Church of the Ascension (127 Kent Street).
Given The Monitor’s deep role in the industrial, naval and ecclesiastical history of Greenpoint, and the United States itself, lifelong Greenpoint residents George and Janice Weinmann have been advocating for a museum dedicated to the boat since 1996.
The couple secured land for the museum on Quay Street at the Monitor’s construction site in 2003, and scored a grant from GCEF to fund the museum in 2015. The project requires a restoration of the ecological shoreline at the Quay Street property, and the museum has been working with design and engineering firm AECOM to make it happen. On Wednesday, June 13, friends of the Monitor Museum teamed up with AECOM to host a public info meeting about the current status of the project. Continue reading →
This past Saturday, December 17th, Mayor de Blasio came to Bushwick Inlet Park to praise the community activists who after ten years of strugglefinally prevailed and forced the city to purchase the twenty-seven acre site for the park. De Blasio continually referred to the community’s victory and praised the local group Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park for their tireless advocacy for the park. In his remarks the Mayor laughed about the persistence of local City Councilman Stephen Levin, who incessantly nagged him until the park was purchased. The Mayor spoke of the high cost of acquiring the land ($150 million just for the final piece), but said that the city was fulfilling its promise to the community to acquire the waterfront site.
A number of other local politicians spoke. Borough President Eric Adams mentioned that the park was proof of the city’s commitment to provide waterfront access to all the people of Brooklyn, not only those with the means to purchase luxury waterfront real estate. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney also addressed the gathering saying that the actions of community groups in gaining the park would serve as a future model. State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol reminded people that he had been an advocate for the park for a decade.
The mood at the gathering was celebratory, almost euphoric. Many of the people in the crowd had done the hard work of advocating for the park for years. They had made phone calls, signed petitions, and even slept out in the rain to gain the parkland, and they were in the mood to celebrate. As they walked home to Greenpoint, Stephen Chesler, Scott Fraser and some of the other people who fought the hardest to gain the park posed for pictures by the fence, which recently read Where’s Our Park? but now reads triumphantly, Here’s Our Park. Those words said it all.
Bushwick Inlet, the truncated, morose, post-industrial body of water west of Kent Avenue at North 14th Street, hardly seems worthy of the huge controversy for a shoreline park, nor would it appear to have a rich history, but the body of water is both controversial and historic. Although park protestshavegeneratedalotofheadlines, few know its history.
There was not always a Bushwick Inlet. The inlet is a relatively recent creation. It was once Bushwick Creek, which was a far longer, deeper and prettier estuary whose headwaters covered much of what is today McCarren Park. A tidal creek, at high tide its waters covered a large area encompassing much of McCarren Park, forming a water boundary between Williamsburg and Greenpoint and beautiful miniature bays. Low tide, though, was a different story as the waters receded they left a stinky slime whose odors offended local noses for generations. Continue reading →
This weekend, on Saturday December 3rd from 10am–1pm, you can help beautify the existing park land with flowers! With generous assistance from Partnerships for Parks (who will be providing bulbs and guidance), Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park together with the community will seed the continued park activation process by planting daffodil bulbs on park grounds. Folks will assemble at the BIP community building located on Kent Ave at N. 9th Street in Williamsburg. Gloves and tools will be provided. Please dress for the weather and encountering dirt.
After manymonths of nonstopactivism to try to get the city to acquire the CitiStorage site—the last piece to complete Bushwick Inlet Park—it looks like the city and the owner of the property are close to reaching a negotiated deal. But they are only “close” and time is genuinely running out.
From Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park: We have been relatively quiet recently to let them work things out but now MAYOR DEBLASIO NEEDS TO HEAR FROM ALL OF US (ALL AT ONCE PREFERABLY).
We need to tell him to: CLOSE the CitiStorage deal and deliver the FULL 27 Acre Bushwick Inlet Park NOW! Let’s all engage in a “Twitter-Storm” and/or 311 call-in from 12 noon- 2 p.m. today, Thursday, October 27. A flurry of activity will maximize our impact! Twitter: @NYCMayor Call: 311 (Parks and Recreation: You can let them know that eleven acres are missing from Bushwick Inlet Park.) You can also sign the Bushwick Inlet Park petition here.
“The city can’t just rest on its laurels and say it made an offer,” said State Assemblyman Joe Lentol on the steps of City Hall, where the North Brooklyn community alongside elected officials turned up the heat on an already sweltering summer day for Bushwick Inlet Park. It’s because the $100 million offer that the city made to acquire the last remaining parcel of prospective park land expired yesterday, Monday, August 8.
This puts the future of all 28 acres of open space in a precarious position and Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park is not taking it lying down. With impassioned chants of “Where’s our park?” and a series of speeches by community leaders and elected officials, they demanded that Mayor de Blasio does what it takes to deliver the waterfront park that was promised 11 years ago. Continue reading →
Last Saturday was a day on which my body cried out for the waterfront. The weather turned the simplest tasks into moist ordeals, so after my second mechanical failure of the day – the right pedal of my bike followed my sunglasses in simply falling to pieces during normal use – I was more than ready to view Brooklyn from afar for a couple hours. I headed up to the North Brooklyn Boat Club‘s space up on Ash street, where I met up with the group heading out for what was the club’s very first public paddle. Continue reading →