State of the City | Legendary Brooklyn Banks skatepark set to reopen under Adams, Tony Hawk plan

The legendary skatepark under the Brooklyn Bridge’s Manhattan finish is set to reopen after greater than a decade behind a padlock, under a plan set in movement by Mayor Eric Adams and skating legend Tony Hawk.

For many years, the Brooklyn Banks was the unofficial Mecca of skateboarding in New York City, the place aficionados of the sport from the 5 boroughs and past gathered with each other to carry out and admire their sickest kickflips and gnarliest grinds.

The plaza wasn’t designed for skating, however shortly turned a house for the sport as skaters acknowledged the house’s potential, with an embankment that successfully allowed for enormous air time to do cool methods, together with railings and boundaries that supplied obstacles to be conquered.

Every part modified in 2010, although, when the Banks had been shuttered for development on the bridge; the spot has been locked up ever since.

The Banks had been the metropolis’s most well-known spot for skaters and BMX riders to do sick methods and gnarly grinds.Zombieite by way of Wikimedia Commons

Now, the metropolis desires to reopen it as half of a bigger imaginative and prescient for the space referred to as Gotham Park, which can even embrace basketball courts, a pedestrian plaza, playgrounds, and public artwork.

Mayor Adams introduced the transfer as half of his State of the City proposal, with Hawk’s Skatepark Project — a nonprofit funding the preservation of previous skateparks and improvement of new ones throughout the nation — slated to redevelop the Banks right into a skater’s paradise.

“On behalf of The Skatepark Project and the skaters of New York: Thanks to the community for their vision and hard work to make this announcement possible, and especially to Mayor Adams for listening and recognizing this rare opportunity to keep the Brooklyn Banks legacy alive,” Hawk stated in an announcement.

Regardless of his iconic standing inside the sport, Hawk himself by no means really bought to skate at the Banks: in accordance to the New York Instances, which first reported the news on Thursday, Hawk visited the park in the early Nineteen Nineties however was unable to partake due to an ankle damage. Hawk probably recorded hundreds of thousands of hours at the park by way of his digital alter ego, although, as the Banks characteristic prominently in his line of skating video video games.

Tony Hawk in Denmark in 2015. Hawk’s Skatepark Challenge is helming the restoration of the Banks.Stig Nygaard by way of Wikimedia Commons

Apprehension was excessive at the flip of the final decade amongst the skating neighborhood as the metropolis introduced the park’s closure for bridge repairs. The fears seemingly got here to fruition: the park didn’t reopen after the promised four-year closure, although the restoration work technically stays ongoing, the Instances reported.

Pessimism ran even greater when the metropolis began eradicating iconic redbricks from the plaza throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with many skaters deciphering the transfer as the park’s official demise. A petition to save the Banks garnered greater than 53,000 signatures, and native skating legend Steve Rodriguez shaped a nonprofit group to advocate for the spot’s restoration.

The Brooklyn Banks restoration is one part of a $375 million funding, introduced by the mayor in his State of the City speech, to create “extraordinary new public spaces.” The mayor can also be set to appoint a new “director of the public realm,” a czar of kinds to coordinate the metropolis’s investments in new and improved public house.

“The pandemic highlighted the critical role of parks, playgrounds, and waterfronts play in improving the physical and mental health of all New Yorkers,” Hizzoner stated in his speech at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadow. “Building on the commitments Governor Hochul and I announced in our “New New York,” we’re going to create extraordinary new public areas in each borough on this metropolis. We are going to make investments greater than $375 million in new parks and plaza, widen sidewalks, safer intersections, develop bike lanes and alluring panorama.”

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