Brooklyn Bridge Park has five amazing piers, but Pier 3 might be its most spectacular yet. Opening on July 10, Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 3 adds five acres of green space to the DUMBO waterfront with unobstructed views of the East River and Manhattan — but that’s not the best part.
At the northern edge of Pier 3 sits its main attraction: a labyrinth made hedges of varying heights that hides tons of secrets. There’s a “hidden” space for special events. It also hides a walk-in kaleidoscope — think of it like an outdoor infinity room — and a semicircular stone bench that looks like an amusement park spaceship created by German industrial designer Gunter Beltzig.
Explorers can also try out a bit of science fun with the Echo Game, a set of curved pipes located at various distances from each other. Speak into one pipe and have a friend listen to the echo in another — the farther the sound travels, the more it changes! You’ll also find a nod to the park’s former role as a major shipping hub, with bollards and cleats that anchored the ships to shore repurposed into playful seating.
The pier’s perimeter has hexagonal picnic tables and moveable furniture like Adirondack chairs, while the interior garden has a gently rolling landscape with over 500 trees, including a cedar grove.
Sure to be one of the park’s most popular areas, the promenade along Pier 3 used to be one of the least visited along the 1.5-mile park, which stretches from Jay Street in the north to Atlantic Avenue in the south. That’s because of the noise from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway running alongside that could get loud enough to drown out conversation. Park officials solved that in 2014 with an innovative 30-foot-high berm that hides the BQE with trees and meadow grasses while dampening traffic sounds.
All of Brooklyn Bridge Park has come a long way. Just 12 years ago, its 85 acres were “still a barren stretch of industrial wasteland,” in the words of former park President Regina Myer, whose nine years of work brought the park into the 21st century. Now, you’ll find some of the best year-round lawns in the city, sports courts, barbecue grills, the spectacular Jane’s Carousel, over 500 free fitness, art and educational classes all summer, an outdoor movie series, a nautical museum, St. Ann’s Warehouse theater, and trendy shops and restaurants.
Pier 3 is the final pier to be finished and brings the park to 90% complete. Still to come are the Pier 2 Uplands (Fall 2018), Brooklyn Bridge Plaza and the permanent Squibb Park Pool. Just north of Brooklyn Bridge Park, Williamsburg’s Domino Park is another new art-filled and historic addition to the East River waterfront.