The Resurrection of the Brooklyn Banks – Manhattan’s Lost Skatepark


(Construction at Gotham Park, formerly Brooklyn Banks Skatepark on February 6th, 2023. Photo/Osei Owusu-Afriyie Jr.)

Osei Owusu-Afriyie Jr.

More than eleven years have passed since the closure of the infamous Brooklyn Banks Skatepark, situated underneath the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. Located on 355-365 Pearl Street, the skatepark is described as skateboarding’s East Coast Mecca by the New York Times.

For over 50 years, Brooklyn Banks has hosted major skateboarding events organized by companies such as Red Bull, Thrasher Magazine, and the New York-based skate company 5boro.

In 2010, Brooklyn Banks was closed by the New York City Department of Transportation for DOT projects. The space was making room for the parking of construction equipment and vehicles.

For more than a decade, New York City skaters and locals have been petitioning and fighting to reopen the skatepark. Pace University students were some of the first to petition for its reopening.

The petition “Save The Brooklyn Banks” has surpassed over 53,000 signatures, with the assistance of the non-profit organization Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan.

Tony Hawk’s non-profit organization The Skatepark Project is working with New York City Mayor Eric Adams’ administration to restore Brooklyn Banks as an officially sanctioned skatepark as a part of Gotham Park.

Gotham Park, also named Brooklyn Bridge Manhattan, will be a new urban community park underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. The initiative of Gotham Park is to connect communities, generate social and economic impact, “activate” the bridge and be a playground for all ages, according to their website.

Gotham Park will offer Pace University students immediate access to public recreational space that will feature local art projects, basketball courts, and other spaces available for public use. The park is projected to create 3,300 permanent jobs, host more than 7 million annual visitors, and accumulate almost half a billion dollars in economic output, according to Yahoo!

“I think [Gotham Park] is good. I think this helps benefit Pace as well. So many kids here skate and have free time, so why not?”, said Mark Joogoon ‘26.

“I feel like it will give myself and others somewhere to go. It will be a good spot to hang out with friends or to meet new people”, said Claire Adregg ‘26.

“It’s awesome for skaters, but it’s cool for all students. Pace is in such a busy and dense part of the city, it’ll be nice to have a space to use for whatever you want to use it for”, said Seth Kaplan ‘23.

Gotham Park is expected to break ground in Spring 2023.