Atlantic Yards, now referred to as Pacific Park, is a mixed-use commercial and residential development project expected to consist of 17 high-rise buildings in Prospect Heights.
There had been many proposals to develop the area around Flatbush and Atlantic avenues before the current project began. In the mid-1950s, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley proposed a new stadium in the area for the team to replace Ebbets Field. City officials refused and O’Malley relocated the Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958.
Then in 1968, Long Island University had its eye on the site but its project was opposed by Mayor John V. Lindsay.
Forest City Ratner finally announced it would build Atlantic Yards in 2003, conceiving the name for its location over a Long Island Rail Road train yard. A major component of the project was the Barclays Center, which opened on Sept. 21, 2012.The development was renamed Pacific Park in August 2014 as part of a rebranding and is expected to be completed by 2025.
How Bath Beach Got Its Name
A strange thing about Bath Beach: It doesn’t really have a beach.
It did at one time, of course, which explains part of its name. The “Bath” part refers to the famous spa and Roman baths in Bath, England.
Bath Beach was a portion of the Dutch town of New Utrecht when it was settled in 1652, part of a purchase of land by Cornelius van Werckhover for the Dutch West India Company. He made the deal with the Canarsie and Nyack Indians and named it after his home city in the Netherlands.
In the mid-19th century, freed slaves were given parcels of land in Bath Beach and created one of the first African-American settlements.
The neighborhood developed with the opening of the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island steam railroad in 1862 to connect with the horsecar system of the City of Brooklyn. The Ulmer Park amusement center, with rides and a dance hall, was built by Ulmer Brewery (of Bushwick) in 1893, but lasted only about six years.
The extension of the subway system in 1916-17 brought new settlers, mainly immigrants, to the area, which gained a reputation as a retreat for the wealthier families, with mansions built to face Gravesend Bay. But the market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Depression changed that to a great extent.
Growth was revived later, especially with the completion of the Belt Parkway around the southern edge of Brooklyn in 1939.
And the beach? It was paved over for construction of the Shore Parkway in the 1950s.
Brooklyn-born Norm Goldstein is retired, after working 44 years for the Associated Press, the global news agency, where he served as a reporter, feature writer, editor, author and administrator. He also worked for AP as director of Educational Services and editor of the AP Stylebook.
He graduated from Brooklyn College and the Penn State Graduate School of Journalism.
He currently lives in Brooklyn Heights.