Flatbush Avenue Groundbreaking
April 26, 2018
Today, Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo celebrated the start of construction of the restoration of the Flatbush Avenue perimeter of Prospect Park, and also unveiled the design for two new entrances to this important pedestrian thoroughfare to the park.
These projects are part of a broader focus by Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that sustains and restores the park, to improve the northeast corner of the park, which also includes a community outreach initiative to re-envision the park’s former Rose Garden, and restoration of its woodlands.
“We are so grateful for the steadfast support of Borough President Adams and Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, and I want to thank them for their funding of this important project, as well as the Parks without Borders program for making these new entrances possible,” said Sue Donoghue, Prospect Park Alliance President. “Since our founding, the Alliance has been committed to restoring and enhancing the Park for the benefit of the community. Improving the Flatbush Avenue perimeter is an important part of this work.”
“The Flatbush Avenue perimeter of Prospect Park is finally getting the restoration it deserves. And with the addition of two brand new entrances, the northeast side of the park will be more welcoming and efficient for all visitors,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Prospect Park was one of the highest voted projects for Parks Without Borders, and we can’t wait to make it even more accessible for the New Yorkers who treasure it.”
“Parks equity has been a priority of my administration, and my partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance has put equity first and foremost for the future of our borough’s crown jewel,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “The Flatbush Avenue perimeter will offer the same top-tier entrance as all visitors can expect to enjoy in Prospect Park. Along with our millions in investment for the Parkside Avenue and Ocean Avenue perimeters, the east side of Prospect Park will soon be the gold standard for a safe, sustainable, and serene park experience.”
“I am so excited to have been able to work with Borough President Eric Adams to see our vision to create a world-class entrance way come to fruition,” said New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie A. Cumbo. “The pedestrian-friendly design will encompass increased lighting and enhanced landscaping that is so fitting of Prospect Park and will also create a safer and more accessible perimeter along Flatbush Avenue that will welcome Brooklynites and visitors alike, to one of the most beautiful parks in the nation.”
Through $2.4 million in funding from Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Council Member Laurie Cumbo, Prospect Park Alliance will restore the Flatbush Avenue perimeter from Grand Army Plaza to the Prospect Park Zoo to its original grandeur. Currently, the narrow, 20-foot-wide sidewalk has few functioning street lights, heavily cracked pavement, sparse and unhealthy street trees, and an incomplete and deteriorating iron fence along the park.
Following the original design of the park’s creators, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the sidewalk will be expanded into a 30-feet-wide promenade. The Alliance will remove invasive plants that have overtaken the area, and plant native species of trees to create an allée reflecting Olmsted’s design. The Alliance will also install new decorative fencing, lighting and furnishings to provide a welcoming and inviting pedestrian experience. Construction is expected to be completed by fall 2018.
Funded with $3.2 million through NYC Parks’ Parks Without Borders program, Prospect Park Alliance is also creating two new entrances along Flatbush Avenue. These will be the first new entrances to the park since the 1940s. A major entrance will be created near the park’s former Rose Garden, and a secondary entrance will be created just north of the Prospect Park Zoo. This project, which received the most votes during the Parks Without Borders nomination period, is slated to break ground in spring 2019, and open to the public in spring 2020.
The entrances will feature new lighting, seating and trees, as well as new landscaping. The major entrance will align with a future DOT traffic signal and pedestrian crosswalk, intersecting a berm retained by a three-foot-high granite wall. The north end of the wall will open onto two levels of terraced seating that provides views of the surrounding woodlands. Stepping stones will lead to an informal running trail that sits atop the berm. On the opposite side of the entrance, the wall ends in a rock scramble of boulders sourced from the building site of nearby NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital. Settees will be installed along the paths and between the boulders.
Additional improvements to the area include $2 million in funding from the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio to enable the Alliance to restore approximately 1,200 linear feet of paths, replace park benches and add more lighting in the park’s northeast corner. Construction is slated to begin in fall 2018 and be completed by fall 2019.