This summer, Red Hookers will finally have a bench with a view, as a somewhat breathtaking waterfront vista has been restored to a section of Red Hook Park.
For the last four years, park-goers were left staring at an 18-foot-tall, 200-foot-long corrogated metal wall at Halleck and Clinton Streets, a structure that separated the Gowanus Industrial Park from the park — and rudely obstructed views of Henry Street Basin, a quaint harbor along the Hudson Bay.
Things looked promising in 2008, when the Brooklyn Supreme Court ruled that business owner John Quadrozzi illegally built the structure, and had had 90 days to tear down the wall.
Quadrozzi appealed the case, extending the drama two more years.
This winter, he ran out of legal wiggle room, and the wall finally came tumbling down.
With warmer weather finally here, residents said they are prepared to take advantage to the change of scenery.
“The wall prevented families from enjoying the alternative recreation that this waterfront vista offers,” said Ludger Balan, a Red Hook resident and founder of the Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy, an environmental advocacy group.
Balan said he is pleased to see most of the wall is down, but complained that support poles remain moored in the ground, perhaps a sign that the structure may one day rise again.
While the view has certainly improved for park-users, Quadrozzi says his own vista is no becoming X-rated.
He claimed that since taking down a controversial wall on his property last winter, trespassers have had a field day — including a bawdy duo caught snapping nude photos.
“The purpose of the fence was to keep out vandals, the drug trade, and other negative uses,” he said, adding that he was just following city zoning regulations when he erected the wall, which he said protects the public from any noxious uses transpiring on his property.
Deputy Inspector Kenneth Corey, the commanding officer of the 76th Precinct, said that cops have not witnessed anyone trespassing or engaged in any unseemly activity.
“It appears people pass through the property to get to the park,” Corey noted.
The city Law Department was just pleased that our long period of national nightmare is over on the Red Hook waterfront.
“We are pleased to hear that Brooklynites appreciate having the view of the waterfront once again — our attorneys work hard to improve New Yorkers’ quality of life,” said agency spokeswoman Connie Pankratz.