Domino Park is the first phase of the transformation of the former Domino Sugar Factory site along Brooklyn’s East River into an ambitious mixed-use development project by Two Trees Management. Inspired by extensive community input, Domino Park reconnects the Williamsburg neighborhood to the East River for the first time in 160 years, by drawing public streets through to the river. The 5-acre riverfront park showcases the history of an iconic industrial waterfront site by integrating over 30 large-scale salvaged relics, including 21 original columns from the Raw Sugar Warehouse, gantry cranes, screw conveyors, bucket conveyors and syrup tanks into an interpretive and educational “Artifact Walk.” The park is raised above FEMA flood elevations with many native plant species that reduce stormwater runoff and function as an absorbent sponge, providing the first line of resilience against storm surge. 

Domino Park has been embraced by the diverse community it serves, with nearly 3.5 million visitors since opening in June 2018. Several local community organizations, such as El Puente, Brooklyn Public Library, Artists and Craftsman, and public schools host a wide-ranging set of events at Domino Park, including mural painting, book clubs, sketching classes, salsa, and student photography exhibitions. Last summer, the park hosted over 100 free public events, attended by nearly 7,000 New Yorkers, with over 15,000 people on the 4th of July. More recently, Domino Park has served as a critical resource for New Yorkers throughout the pandemic with painted circles that encourage social distancing on the lawn and expanded services for the community, including a composting dropoff and farmers market. A recipient of numerous awards, Domino has been recognized with this year’s ULI Global Award of Excellence for Urban Open Space.

Photography by Daniel Levin and Barrett Doherty.