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Rendering of an entrance. Photo via The Prospect Park Alliance

Brooklyn’s backyard is getting a long-awaited facelift, thanks to the efforts of Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit dedicated to sustaining and restoring Prospect Park. Yesterday, the organization celebrated the groundbreaking of the restoration of the Flatbush Avenue perimeter of the park and unveiled designs for two new entrances. The project is part of a larger mission to restore the northeast corner of the green space and re-envision Prospect Park’s former Rose Garden and woodlands.

Photo via The Prospect Park Alliance

Photo via The Prospect Park Alliance

Yesterday’s ceremony brought together Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo in celebration of the start of the construction work, a project originally presented four years ago to make the northeast side of the park more welcoming and inviting. Through $2.4 million in funding from Adams and Cumbo, Prospect Park Alliance will restore the Flatbush Avenue perimeter from Grand Army Plaza to the Prospect Park Zoo to its original grandeur envisioned by the park’s creators, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. At the moment, the Flatbush Avenue perimeter is a narrow, 20-foot-wide sidewalk that is heavily cracked, without adequate lighting and surrounded by “unhealthy” street trees and invasive plant species. An iron fence along the park is also deteriorating, as you can see from the photos above.

From left to right: Sue Donoghue, Mitchell J. Silver, Laurie A. Cumbo and Brooklyn Parks Commissioner, Martin Maher

Once the restoration is complete, the sidewalk will be turned into a 30-feet-wide promenade, home to native plant species, as well as decorative fencing, lighting and furnishings. It’s expected to be completed by fall 2018. Additionally, $3.2 million provided by NYC Parks’ Parks Without Borders program will fund the construction of the two new entrances along Flatbush Avenue — the first new entrances to the park since the 1940s. One will be located near the park’s former Rose Garden while the other will sit just north of the Prospect Park Zoo.

Two entrance locations. Photos via The Prospect Park Alliance

Slated to break ground in spring 2019 (and open to the public in spring 2020), the construction of the entrances will bring new lighting, landscaping and seating to area. This includes features like stepping stones, terraced seating options and settees that will be installed along paths and between boulders. The Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio has also provided $2 million in funding for general improvements in the area, including the restoration of paths and replacement of benches.

Soon enough, visitors will be able to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the new and improved areas of Prospect Park, what Cumbo calls “the lungs of Brooklyn.” “I know we are going to leave [it] more accessible, safer and better than we found it,” she said of the project.

Rendering via The Prospect Park Alliance

Rendering via The Prospect Park Alliance
Rendering via The Prospect Park Alliance

Next, check out the Top 12 Secrets of Prospect Park and 10 Lost or Never Built Structures in Prospect Park.

 Brooklyn, Calvert Vaux, Frederick Law Olmsted, Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park, Prospect Park Alliance, Prospect Park Zoo

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