Friday, February 27, 2015

Brooklyn Heights Association Annual Meeting a Microcosm of Change Rocking Brooklyn

The good and bad aspects of changing Brooklyn were reflected at this year's Brooklyn Heights Association Annual Meeting, held Tuesday night at Grace Church.

A nice new park, rampant development, overcrowded schools and a shrunken library were some of the topics discusssed.

BHA President Alexanda Bowie summed it up when she said, "... we are a quiet corner no longer... Change is not just coming; change is here."

BHA's Executive Director Judy Stanton is stepping down after 30 years of being the undisputed mayor of Brooklyn Heights. What the neighborhood has lost won't become apparent until after she departs this summer, when things will slowly begin falling apart.

Stanton was presented with a special award by Thirteen's Tom Stewart, who grew teary eyed as he spoke of her accomplishments -- see the Brooklyn Eagle for more on this.

Bowie presented the BHA's views on the major issues that have been rocking the Heights:

- Residential development in Brooklyn Bridge Park: "At this moment, we are not convinced that housing is needed on Pier 6."

- The height of the buildings at BBP's Pier 1: They are “larger than they should be, and ... their height contravenes agreements that were made in the community many years ago.”

- Brooklyn Public Library’s plans to redevelop the Brooklyn Heights branch:  “Cautiously optimistic.”

Overcrowding at P.S. 8: Mayor de Blasio must invest in schools “immediately -- not in 2017, 2018, 2019.”

Speaker Justin Davidson, New York magazine architecture and classical music critic, cast change in a positive light, for the most part. “Preservation is an empty pursuit if it doesn’t contribute to a vibrant city,” he said.

See here for more, and for a list of this year's award winners.

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