c. Empire State Building

Celebrate the Park’s 150th

October 16, 2017

Join us on October 19 at 230 Fifth in Manhattan to raise a glass and watch the Empire State Building light up in Prospect Park’s signature green in celebration of the Park’s 150th anniversary. 

On Saturday, October 19, 1867, visitors were welcomed inside Prospect Park’s borders for the first time. Spearheaded by James S.T. Stranahan, a local business and civic leader, and the historic design team of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the Park was far from complete on that October day. Unable to keep curious and delighted visitors away from the Park in progress, the designers decided to welcomed the enthusiastic throngs inside for the first time. 

The subsequent Monday evening edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle recorded the occasion: “The public were formally invited on Saturday, to visit Prospect Park and see how the work was getting on. The weather being remarkably fine for the season, and inviting out door exercise, the visitors to the Park were numerous…it is safe to estimate the number of visitors yesterday at ten thousand.” By 1868, two million people would enjoy what came to be known as “Brooklyn’s Jewel” and “Brooklyn’s Backyard.” Today, the Park welcomes more than 10 million visitors each year.

Today, 150 years later, the Prospect Park Alliance staff work to continue to sustain, restore and advance the vision of Olmsted and Vaux for the diverse communities that call Brooklyn home. It is a year-round effort that keeps this space an essential resource for the millions of visitors every year.

Interested in learning more about the history of Prospect Park? Enjoy slideshows, videos, articles and more on our 150th Anniversary page.  Plus, share your own Prospect Park Stories.