Endale Arch Restored to Original Splendor
November 13, 2020
Prospect Park Alliance has completed the restoration of Endale Arch and reopened this treasure to the public.
One of the first architectural elements constructed in Prospect Park in the 1860s, the arch was envisioned by park creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as a transporting entrance to the majestic Long Meadow from Grand Army Plaza. The $500,000 project was generously funded by the Tiger Baron Foundation, with additional support from Council Member Brad Lander through District 39 participatory budgeting.
“Thanks to this comprehensive restoration, the historic Endale Arch will welcome visitors to Prospect Park’s Long Meadow for generations to come,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “We are grateful to the Tiger Baron Foundation and Council Member Lander for their support, and we commend the Prospect Park Alliance for their remarkable work on this project.”
“I’m thrilled that our community chose through participatory budgeting to support the restoration of Endale Arch, a historic piece of Brooklyn’s backyard,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “I thank the Tiger Baron Foundation for their support of this project. At a time when New Yorkers are appreciating their parks more than ever, it is wonderful to have an opportunity to learn about and enjoy the contributions of the past to the spaces we love so dearly today.”
“We are so thankful to the Tiger Baron Foundation and Council Member Brad Lander for supporting this work, and enabling us to undertake a restoration worthy of Prospect Park’s creators,” said Sue Donoghue, President of Prospect Park Alliance. “Our Design + Construction team has outdone themselves on this project, and we are thrilled to share this beautifully restored archway with our community.”
The Endale Arch restoration comprises years of research, dedicated work and a number of exciting discoveries as layers of time were stripped back. The phased restoration kicked off in 2015 with the adjacent landscape. The Alliance stabilized the stone retaining walls and surrounding hillsides; removed invasive plants; added an array of native plantings; and made improvements to the arch and pathway to address drainage issues and reduce potential flooding and water damage.
In the final phase, the Alliance worked with Barnhart Restoration to restore the interior of the arch and the exterior stonework. In the course of this phase, layers of paint and grit were peeled back, revealing handsome original details that the design team was surprised and delighted to find. A motif of alternating yellow Berea sandstone and New Jersey brownstone, and white pine and black walnut wood paneling, which was hidden for nearly a century has been restored. The team opted to leave one brick and granite cross vault exposed to highlight the detailed craftsmanship put in place over 150 years ago.
Visitors can now enjoy the arch as it would have appeared to the park’s earliest visitors, all with the benefit of new LED lighting that illuminates the interior of the arch. The result is a breathtaking window into Prospect Park’s historic past. Learn more about the restoration of Endale Arch.
The restoration of Endale Arch is part of a larger effort by Prospect Park Alliance to improve the northeast corner of the park. This work also includes the restorations of the Vale Woodlands, through a grant from New York State Parks; the Grand Army Plaza berms and Soldiers and Sailors Arch, funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio; the Flatbush Avenue perimeter, funded by Borough President Eric L. Adams and Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo; two new entrances along Flatbush Avenue, the first in the park since the 1940s, funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Parks without Borders initiative; and pathway and lighting improvements in the Vale, funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Learn more about these projects on the Alliance’s Capital Projects Tracker,