Projecting 600 feet into Island Channel and bounded by the Belt Parkway to the east, Brooklyn’s Canarsie Pier was built in 1926 by the New York City Department of Docks as part of a larger project to expand Jamaica Bay- both physically with sand dredged from the bay and as a center of commerce. This plan never came to fruition, and the site has been associated since the early twentieth century with professional and recreational fishing. Due to Golden City Park, historic rival of Coney Island, Canarsie hosted numerous boisterous beer and dance halls, eventually resulting in its decline. In the 1930s, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses curtailed industrial bay development, wiping out Golden City Park and integrating Canarsie Pier into his greater vision of Jamaica Bay. During this time, the New York City Department of Parks began to clean up the site, resurfacing the pier, landscaping, and building concession areas.
Today, the site is approached by a circular drive through an arching, bronze-lettered entrance sign with parking in the center of the pier and the original concession building in the northeast corner. The sides of the pier along the water’s edge feature benches and tree-lined paths of brick, stone, and granite. The entire pier is enclosed by wrought iron railings. Recreational opportunities include kayaking with ranger-led trips to nearby Canarsie Pol, picnicking and barbequing, fishing, and summer concerts. The pier, part of the 75-acre Gateway National Recreation Area, was integrated into the Jamaica Bay Unit in 1972.