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A skateboarder rides the famous 9-stair at The Arches
The ArchesA skateboarder rides the famous 9-stair at The Arches

The Arches, a new public park, opens beneath the Brooklyn Bridge

The opening coincides with the NYC icon’s 140th birthday.

Written by
Christina Izzo

Word of any new outdoor space in New York City is always a reason to cheer, especially when the digs are as iconic as this: just in time for its 140th birthday, the Brooklyn Bridge will welcome The Arches, a recreational space and community gathering spot set right beneath the landmark in Chinatownlocated at the intersection of Rose Street and Avenue of the Finest.

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Announced by Mayor Eric Adams as well as community advocates of Gotham Park and Tony Hawk’s The Skatepark Project, the grand opening of The Arches included the restoration of the iconic Brooklyn Banks skatepark, which has been closed to the public for more than a decade. Along with the skatepark—whose nine-stair feature was broken in by VANS skateboarders like Ben Kadow, Dick Rizzo and Beatrice Domond during the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 24—the new public space will also include outdoor recreations like pickleball, basketball and shuffleboard courts. 

“Today marks the start of something truly great. By providing access to safe, outdoor recreation, The Arches will bring people of all backgrounds together, fostering community bonds for local New Yorkers,” said Benjamin Anderson Bashein, Executive Director of The Skatepark Project. “Skateboarding is a sport that supports growth and creativity, and the Brooklyn Banks is a historic place where legendary skateboarders have found community and honed their craft. The Skatepark Project and our partners at VANS Skateboarding are proud to support a new chapter in NYC skateboarding history and help the iconic skate spot’s legacy live on in the next generation of athletes. It’s an honor to work alongside City Hall, Gotham Park and so many others to bring this vision to life.”
Situated in a low-income neighborhood with majority BIPOC residents, one hit significantly hard by the health and socioeconomic impact of COVID-19, the new park is aimed at fostering community and boosting local business in the area. 

“I know that what we can do is going to impact this city for years to come,” Mayor of New York City Eric Adams said during Wednesday's grand opening. “Everyone needs open space – we witnessed that during COVID, how people needed those spaces to come and sit down and enjoy the recreation that’s attached to it. So this is an exciting moment, and I am just so pleased that this is being done under our administration."

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