6. Pier 4 at the Brooklyn Army Terminal: a community asset and a renewed connection to the waterfront
A hundred years ago, Brooklyn’s shoreline was a forest of finger piers – long, thin, 19th century docks built for unloading steamships. In the 1960s, these structures were replaced by large, square piers, designed to accommodate trucks and containers. Since then, much of the East River waterfront has been rebuilt for new uses, including housing and recreation.
One example is Pier 4, which extends from 58th Street at the Brooklyn Army Terminal. The Sunset Park waterfront was developed as an intermodal hub for shipping and industry in the 1920s. However, for much of its post-war history, the area was singularly underserved in terms of open space and public transportation. In 1996, the 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge closed for repairs and community organizations worked with the city to construct a public pier at 58th Street. The pier opened in 1998 and is heavily used by local residents, including fishermen. Citywide Ferry by Hornblower will provide service at both 69th Street and 58th Street, as part of its South Brooklyn route.