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Macneil Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, August 7, 2002

COME PROMENADE WITH ME


On Wednesday, July 24th, Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and children from the Von King Cultural Arts Center to celebrate the renovation of the entire Brooklyn Heights Promenade. "Over 50 years ago this promenade opened to the public, and today we cut the ribbon to celebrate its $2.7 million reconstruction," said Benepe.

In 1850, private gardens occupied most of the area, but local residents promenaded to the ends of the streets to view the Manhattan skyline. Today the view is still truly spectacular. As park patrons meander along this newly constructed walkway, they can see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governor's Island, the Brooklyn Bridge and scores of other landmarks. According to urban legend, many couples have even become engaged during a stroll along the promenade.

On September 11th, this romantic walkway became a place for community members to gather and express their sorrow. "It is really hard to come here without remembering the World Trade Center, without remembering the terrible view that morning, without remembering how neighbors gathered here spontaneously for many weeks afterward and left behind tributes," said Commissioner Benepe.

As part of the reconstruction, Parks has embedded bronze panels into the promenade depicting historic New York City scenes. Renowned artist Greg Lefevre crafted these plaques, and the artist is putting the finishing touches on a panel of the 2001 Manhattan skyline that includes the World Trade Center. Other plaques include etchings of sailing ships from 1776, a picture of the steam ship from 1880, and a rendering of Manhattan's skyline in 1935. An image of the Brooklyn Bridge under construction in 1877 and a harbor scene from 1873 will also be installed.

Parks renovated the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, which stretches from Remsen Street to Orange Street, in two phases. The first $1.2 million phase, funded by the City Council, restored the promenade from Remsen Street to Clark Street. This phase was completed last June.

The event on July 24th celebrated the completion of the project's second phase. The City Council allocated $1.5 million to restore the promenade from Pierrepont Street to Orange Street. Promenaders can now enjoy the site's special new sundial and relax on the World's Fair benches. Parks has reconstructed the pavement, curbs and light poles, and a new irrigation system has been installed.

In addition to a particularly rousing rendition of SpongeBob SquarePants, the Brooklyn crew outdid themselves preparing themed food for the event. Clark Bars were dished out for Clark Street, pineapple and orange wedges sliced in honor of Pineapple and Orange Street and cranberry juice poured for Cranberry Street. Cool "lemonade" on the "promenade" was also served.

In his remarks, Commissioner Benepe thanked former Council Member Kenneth Fisher for funding this $2.7 million project to reconstruct the entire Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Parks Landscape Architect Bob Cook oversaw the design envisioned by Vollmer Associates. Parks Resident Engineer George Kroenert oversaw the construction, working with the contractor, Padilla Construction Services. The Commissioner also thanked the Brooklyn Heights Association for their efforts.

Julius Spiegel, Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner, Olanike Alabi, District Manager for Community Board 2, Inspector Christopher Rising, Commanding Officer of the 84th Precinct, Judy Stanton, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, John Manbeck, Former Brooklyn Borough Historian, Annette and Pauline Herd, and members of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition were also on hand for the event.

Written by Jocelyn Aframe

THIRTEEN YEARS AGO IN THE PLANT

(Wednesday, August 16, 1989)

MACNEIL PARK IN COLLEGE POINT RECEIVES

$1.1 MILLION RESTORATION

There is a hidden treasure in College Point, Queens, and it’s called MacNeil Park. The 28-acre waterfront park, which boasts a promenade with a magnificent vista of the East River and the Whitestone Bridge, was dedicated Tuesday after $1.1 million capital restoration.

Commissioner Stern was joined at the ribbon-cutting ceremony by Queens Borough President Claire Shulman, Assembly Member Morton C. Hillman, Queens Parks Commissioner William H. Cook and Regina Colletta, District Manager of Community Board 7.

QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

"The time is always right to do what is right."


Martin Luther, Jr. King

(1929-1968)

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