New and Improved Brooklyn Park Opens to Public

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The first part of the new Brooklyn Bridge Park opens this morning. Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg will join Brooklyn officials to cut the ribbon on 6 acres of park out of a total 86 acres that are planned for the site. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman reports.

REPORTER: The park is still mired in controversy, but it is far less controversial than the plan 25 years ago by developer David Walentas to turn former cargo piers at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge into a retail and marina complex. That idea galvanized the community to push for open space instead, which it has slowly won.

The first portion to open includes a performance area, a playground, and a set of long granite steps that provide a view of Lower Manhattan from across the East River. A new agreement announced earlier this month gives the city, instead of the state, primary control over the park's operation. But the budget is still $70 million shy of what is needed to complete all 86 planned acres.