Joe Huennekens is speaking about the Under the Elevated project at the BQE.
Our Program Associate Joe Huennekens joined an intrepid group of urban space enthusiasts gathered for a walking tour of the historic Wallabout neighborhood for the Open House New York weekend. French-speaking Walloons founded Wallabout, located just south of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, in the 17th century.
The construction of the BQE in the 1960s radically altered the neighborhood and divided it from the waterfront. Today, AFHny is working with Myrtle Avenue Revitalization Project (MARP) to rethink the space beneath the BQE and facilitate pedestrian connections between Wallabout and the Navy Yard.
Architect and professor Shan Jayakumar of AFHny, who led the tour, started off with explaining the evolution of the BQE structure and walked us through the wider history of the neighborhood. At Washington Avenue we stopped for my “guest lecture”. I spoke about Design Trust’s continuing effort to improve the space beneath New York City’s elevated infrastructure. I showed everyone the photos from our 2010 Public Space Potluck held under the BQE, and together we discussed how the strategies identified in Design Trust's Under the Elevated research publication could be applied to Wallabout.
AFHny and MARP’s efforts under the BQE are an exciting example of how community-generated projects are transforming ‘el-space’ across the city. Thanks to them and Open House New York for including Design Trust on the tour and allowing us to share the citywide strategies from Under the Elevated.
The construction of the BQE in the 1960s radically altered the Wallabout neighborhood in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and divided it from the waterfront.