For some, the controversial Dock Street DUMBO project is a matter of taste. But for Kristian Roebling, the idea that the project may block some residents’ view of the Brooklyn Bridge is personal.
Roebling, a direct descendant of Brooklyn Bridge designer John A. Roebling, and builder Washington Roebling, has joined the vocal opposition to the proposed development.
“Part of the magnificence of the Statue of Liberty is the pristine nature of its surroundings – on an island, in the middle of the East River, with no other tall structures on the island,” said Roebling.
“The Brooklyn Bridge needs to be treated with the same respect,” he added.
Roebling’s comments come as the City Council looks to put a final green light on the current Two Trees Management proposal as part of the Uniform Land Use Procedure (ULURP) for the one−acre site bounded by Water, Dock and Front streets.
Two Trees’ proposal calls for an 18−story building including a 300−seat middle school, 365 residential units including 20 percent for low−income families, ground−floor neighborhood retail and off−street parking.
Prior to coming before the City Council, the City Planning Commission modified the plan, reducing the height to 170 feet and reducing the westernmost piece of the building on Water Street, which extends closer to the bridge, from about 90 feet to 75 feet.
Opponents to the plan, led by the DUMBO Neighborhood Association, have been leading a vocal campaign to stop the project.
Besides issuing the Roebling statement last week, they also issued a statement of opposition from Ana Ortiz, a DUMBO resident and star of ABC’s “Ugly Betty.”
“I am a native New Yorker, born and raised in this magical city of ours,” said Ortiz.
“Little by little, we watch as what is wonderful and unique about the city is paved over and homogenized. We all need to stop that from happening here, with Dock Street, and preserve something so beautiful to create a great and important legacy of your own.”
Other celebrities on the bandwagon to stop the project include Pulitzer Prize−winning historian and author David McCullough, filmmaker Ken Burns and actors Gabriel Byrne, Helen Hunt, Gary Sinise, Ana Gasteyer and Skipp Sudduth.