01. — Mission


The Tanks is a vision for an adaptive reuse park along the Williamsburg waterfront that captures the creative ethos of the neighborhood around it—and reflects its rich history by breathing new life into the site’s industrial fabric.

The idea springs from an awareness that both our waterfront heritage and the local creative community are being wiped away at an alarming speed. The Tanks is poised to achieve the acute community need for green open space while also serving as a dynamic, interactive, and educational public park that speaks to Brooklyn’s past, present, and future.

All renderings by Studio V & Ken Smith Workshop

02. — The site


The site for The Tanks is a seven-acre waterfront parcel that served as the historical home of one of Brooklyn’s most important industrial enterprises: Astral Oil Works, founded by businessman and philanthropist Charles Pratt.

Astral Oil Works

After decades of industrial decline, the site—which came to be known as the Bayside Fuel Terminal—became a hub for hundreds of artists, makers, and entrepreneurs, sitting at the very heart of Williamsburg’s thriving creative scene.

Besides its cultural and historical significance, the Bayside lot is overflowing with architectural character, including a three-story brick building with soaring ceilings and factory windows, and a series of 50-foot tall cylindrical, decommissioned fuel containers that rise from the ground to create a beautiful and other-worldly industrial topography.

Photography by Brett Beyer
Photography by Brett Beyer

03. — Vision


Rather than demolishing these structures, The Tanks recognizes the potential to re-imagine them as a habitable eco-system, satisfying the need for green space while also creating a new kind of commons uniquely of and for Williamsburg. These fossils of Brooklyn’s bygone industrial era could be integrated into the landscape of the park, serving as an important reminder of the waterfront’s complex and layered history.

Activated for contemporary uses, the tanks could turn into viewing platforms, performances spaces, rotating sound and art exhibitions, and greenhouses. The building could be adaptively reused for community uses, as well as a community-accessible maker space that helps to expand the definition of recreation beyond traditional uses, while also reflecting the current culture of collaboration and making so central to Williamsburg's character. The possibilities are virtually endless, but only if we embrace the rich industrial legacy that’s been left to us.

All renderings by Studio V & Ken Smith Workshop

The vision for The Tanks debuted during a presentation by Stacey Anderson at the annual MAS summit in 2015.

04. — Timeline

05. — Ten principles

Ten principles

  1. 01
    Support the whole park

    Complete the entire Bushwick Inlet Park

  2. 02
    Incorporate community input

    Integrate 2007 community requests: open space, playing fields, wetlands, performance, dog run, boat house

  3. 03
    Preserve Brooklyn’s waterfront

    Celebrate Brooklyn’s ecological & industrial heritage

  4. 04
    Provide community amenities

    Support community maker space, culture, arts, creative industry

  5. 05
    Open the park

    Utilize NYC Park’s new open design standards

  6. 06
    Maximize green space

    Provide same green space as 2007 proposal, with more diverse uses

  7. 07
    Propose real solutions

    Address environmental, ecological, social, & economic needs

  8. 08
    Maintain an open process

    Include the public, community groups, & government agencies

  9. 09
    Clean up the site

    Employ the safest, most cost effective, least intrusive remediation strategy

  10. 10
    Create a sustainable park

    Create a sustainable economic model for community programming

06. — Sign up

Sign up

Be a maker. Sign up now to get updates on events and other important The Tanks news.

Thanks for signing up! Keep an eye out for news and updates.

07. — News

08. — Team


Stacey Anderson
Co-founder and Executive Director

Karen Zabarsky
Co-founder and Creative Director

Jay Valgora
Head Architect

Ken Smith
Head Landscape Architect