Authors: Joanne Witty and Henrik Krogius

Publisher: Empire State Editions,

ISBN 978-0-8232-7357-7

Joanne Witty, co-author of Brooklyn Bridge Park, is an environmentalist and attorney. (2016, inside back cover) She has been involved and served on the City of New York and state of New York government, Previously she was President and Park Leader for the Local Development Corporation that masterminded the park’s plan, a founding member and co-chair of Freshkills Park Alliance that has reclaimed the world’s largest landfill, and chair of the Brooklyn Bridge Park corporation.

Henrik Krogius, co-author of Brooklyn Bridge Park, was a writer and producer for NBC News for twenty seven years. (2016, inside back cover) For over two decades he was editor of Brooklyn Heights Press and Cobble Hill News. His prior books are titled The Brooklyn Heights Promenade and New York, You’re a Wonderful Town: 50-plus Years of Chronicling Gotham.

I’m going to begin this review with the last chapters of this book which contained many color photographs of the new Brooklyn Bridge Park. They were a wonderful example of what the words in this book fell short in describing. The cornucopia of people and places was heartwarming to see and made one feel connected to this long time in coming to fruition multi-faceted park.

Working forward from that point “Both the High Line and Brooklyn Bridge Park make significant use of recycled urban features and industrial elements. The High Line reclaimed nearly all of an entire elevated railway structure.” (2016, p.170) I am a huge fan of reclaiming and reusing or repurposing things to fit today’s uses so this pleased me quite a bit.

The descriptions of what this property had been were well done and exhibited a lot of research into this project. “For much of its history, the working waterfront In Brooklyn was one of the busiest in New York, which, by the twentieth century, made it one of the busiest in the world.” (2016, p.7) New York City was and still is one of the greatest places to visit or live in the world. That its waterfront would be one of the busiest makes perfect sense.

Pertaining to Brooklyn Heights and her residents the authors state the following. “The residential community of Brooklyn Heights was laid out into twenty five foot row house plots in the early decades of the nineteenth century to attract commuters from Manhattan, as well as, those engaged in commerce on the bustling Brooklyn waterfront, and the neighborhood retains the low-rise, low-density character of its origins.” (2016, p.7) I love the idea of not changing what something historically was, but making it better as time moves onward. The then pictures are an interesting dynamic of what that area has become.

After a walk down history lane the authors begin to speak to what was occurring in the 1970’s through the present day with regard to residents, city planning or lack thereof, city governance, changes in use for these properties, and how they finally resolve that and create the awesome venue it is today. While I would fall short of saying it is a must read, it had some interesting parts. My suggestion would be to begin at the end and read forward.