MAKING A SPLASH
B'KLYN BRIDGE WATERFALL PLAN
By DAVID SEIFMAN City Hall Bureau Chief
January 16, 2008 -- Four manmade waterfalls, 90 to 120 feet high, will be installed under and around the Brooklyn Bridge this summer in one of the city's most audacious art undertakings, Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday.
"They really must be seen to be believed," the mayor declared, standing next to renderings of the awesome displays during a press conference at the South Street Seaport.
Although they're being built on scaffolding at the edge of the waterfront, some of the waterfalls appear to float above New York Harbor. High-powered pumps will dispense 35,000 gallons of water a minute over each of the structures.
The highest is expected to be as tall as the Statue of Liberty.
One of the most eye-popping falls has water cascading under the Brooklyn anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge .
"This project today is the most ambitious project the Public Art Fund has ever undertaken and, I dare say, the city has ever seen," said Susan Freedman, president of the nonprofit organization.
The $15 million project was commissioned in 2006 from Danish artist Olafur Eliasson, who created a sensation in London by erecting a giant sun made of 200 yellow lamps, mirrors and mist in the entrance hall of the Tate Modern in 2003.
Officials are predicting 86,000 tourists will be drawn to New York solely by the falls, which will be on view between mid-July and mid-October. The city's economy is expected to gain $55 million.
By comparison, the enormously popular "Gates," which enveloped Central Park in 2005, generated $254 million.
Private contributors, including Bloomberg LP, the mayor's information-services company, are picking up the hefty construction bill.
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