2. The First Plan for Brooklyn Bridge Park Was ‘Harbor Park’

During the negotiation process for Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Port Authority argued that the focus should be placed on private investments and economic activity, with recreational uses taking a backseat. On the other end of the spectrum, the Brooklyn Heights Association favored a project that was “fundamentally all-park,” with limited private development.

To emphasize and bring to life the idea, the association sought the help of landscape architect Terry Schnadelbach, who produced illustrations of a passive green space with commercial facilities (to be known as Harbor Park). Schnadelbach, who was inspired by Hudson River School painters, Frederick Law Olmsted and “a little” Robert Moses, described his vision as an “American landscape” of “natural elements, long beautiful curves, shaded sitting areas, waterfalls, and fountains for kids to get wet.”

The proposal never came to fruition as the Port Authority did not believe it would provide enough of a financial return.