Following Tuesday’s BHB post about Brooklyn Heights being potentially overtaken by a multitude of film shoots, there was certainly plenty of ongoing action we witnessed along Montague Street, the Promenade, Montague Terrace, Pierrepont Place and Remsen Street on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s a red cone zone, for sure—along with associated mammoth vehicles taking up gobs of parking spaces and humming like a herd of Fresh Direct trucks. More pics below. (Photos: Chuck Taylor)
From the Web
Dog lovers, cross dressers and children of all ages: Cool autumn winds are signaling that the time is again approaching for the annual Howl-o-Ween parade/contest on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. And again this year Vinegar Hill Veterinary Group is providing the legendary after-party. Save the date and register your pet at Perfect Paws, 102 Hicks Street (corner of Pineapple) prior to the event. To enter the parade and contest, it’s a $25 tax deductible donation per pet. As in previous years, all proceeds will be donated to animal-related charities. Howl-o-Ween is free to watch.
Business, corporate donors and employees of companies that match donations: A small number of sponsor tables will available at the event. It’s a unique opportunity to get your organization face to face with many Brooklyn animal lovers. See here for more information and contact details.
From the Web
Most of us Brooklyn Heights denizens have seen dozens of pics of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade in its early days, but there are actually a couple here that were new to a guy who loves to scour the webbie for Heights history. How about you? Via Gothamist here.
Here’s the text that accompanies the Gothamist slideshow:
The idea of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade had been bounced around since Hezekiah Pierrepont proposed it in 1827 (decades later, in 1864, Abraham Lincoln declared, “There may be finer views than this in the world, but I don’t believe it.”). The idea didn’t happen in Pierrepont’s lifetime, but he “lived and died in the belief and desire, that the Heights some day be made a public promenade.” Over 100 years later, enter Robert Moses.
Moses originally proposed that the BQE go directly through Brooklyn Heights, but was talked down from this crazy idea by the powerful residents of the neighborhood. The idea for the design with the promenade on top was actually proposed by one such resident “whose private garden would be destroyed by the arterial highway”—he suggested that the BQE be two levels, and have a “cover” on top protecting the gardens from smog and noise. The “cover” became the promenade, and the space was dedicated on October 7th, 1950, when Moses announced: “I don’t know of anything quite like this in any city in the world.”
From the Web
While plans continue to revamp Pier 17′s tourist trap South Street Seaport, it appears that the view across from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade might become all the more dramatic. Plans have been drafted for a skyscraper at 80 South Street that would dramatically redefine the skyline as seen from the Heights.
In the works is a proposal to erect a 300,000-square-foot, 780-foot-tall mixed-use tower comprising a hotel, residential and community space. Owner Cord Meyer Development is currently working on plans for air rights that it has purchased over several years, while Morali Architects has begun parading renderings for perusal. The design would comprise a high-tech garage on the first three levels, equaling the height of FDR drive; with a small museum above highlighting history of the Seaport; and a restaurant and spa alongside a 200-room boutique hotel. The building’s skin would be made of photovoltaic glass.
The plan awaits approvals from the City Planning Commission and the Dept. of Buildings, which could take at least a year.
From the Web
Any Brooklyn Heights residents miffed by the buzzzz of the Kustard King ice cream truck parked along Pierrepont Street or the persistent rumbling of Fresh Direct freezer trucks at all hours might be interested to hear about the limousine-like bus parked along the entire Montague Street entrance to the Promenade Friday night.
The vehicle’s AC system was louder than a helicopter, while its posse of tourists found it apropos to treat their visit to the Heights like a Justin Bieber concert—whooping, hollering & laughing like hyenas into the night.
I tend to be a come-what-may New Yorker, and typically take pride in the fact that our nabe is a tourist magnet. But even I have limits. This bombastic lack of respect rattled me to the point of… daring to have an opinion on the Brooklyn Heights Blog. Mind you, I’ve learned that sharing such here is seldom prudent, given the response of knee-jerk anonymous posters. But this time, I’m willing to risk it.
From the Web
In the decade-plus that I’ve lived in Brooklyn Heights, I never recall seeing a street vendor on the lower side of Montague Street. On Saturday, a licensed vendor had set up shop at the corner of Montague and Montague Terrace, near the Promenade.
Said seller tells BHB that if business is brisk, he will be there weekends throughout the summer, selling cold drinks, New York hotdogs and sausage. Nice.
From the Web
An anonymous “Concerned Resident Of Brooklyn Heights” is circulating a proposal to lower the speed limit for large vehicles on the BQE under the Promenade “in order to significantly decrease traffic‐induced vibrations in buildings, a major complaint of local residents.” The author asks that neighborhood citizens and their representatives petition the Department of Transportation.
Specifically, he or she proposes that the clip of I-278 between exit 27 and 29B be reduced to 30 mph for Class 3 vehicles and above (buses, tractor trailers, pickups, vans, campers, motor homes, etc.), noting that “poor road conditions and the speed of large vehicles on Interstate 278 through Brooklyn Heights has a significant impact on the quality of life, specifically when it comes to vibrations in buildings. Resident complaints are rampant as described in The New York Times and Brooklyn Heights Blog.
“Logically speaking, vibrations make it more difficult to live in the neighborhood, rent properties for higher rents and sell properties at higher prices. It also increases maintenance on historical buildings,” the letter states. “Maintenance on the road is carried out occasionally but the fair conditions only last a short period of time before large vehicles pound the roads back into disrepair. Insignificant budgets and an increase in the weight of vehicles over time are compounding the problem. Residents and even those very motorists are affected emotionally and monetarily.”
The “Concerned Resident” suggests that the “easiest, lowest-cost solution” is to lower the speed limit for vehicles FHWA class 3 and higher to a reasonable 30 mph from exit 27 to exit 29B, “resulting in an estimated 2.4 minutes of extra travel time for those vehicles and a significant decrease in building vibration.”
An Institute for Research in Construction study by the National Research Council of Canada is June 2000, is cited, which notes differences in speed reduced vibrations as much as 300%.
References to the author’s claims and statistics are included in the original letter, which you can view as a PDF here: Brooklyn Heights
From the Web
Here is a 1952 view of the incomplete Brooklyn Queens Expressway, with people on the newly opened Brooklyn Heights Promenade over the new highway. The BQE just comes to an end at the lower right corner, with the Brooklyn Bridge far in the distance.
See original full-size photo on Flickr here.