Highlights from the Bob Levine Collection
You may recognize from #ThrowbackThursdays past, many of Prospect Park Alliance’s historic materials come from one person: Bob Levine, collector extraordinaire.
His collection spans more than a century of Brooklyn’s Backyard and includes thousands of vintage postcards, photographs, maps and drawings of the park. Here are highlights from the collection, selected by Levine himself.
A 1897 cover of the New York Tribune, depicting the day that the 2nd Naval Battalion hopped onto bicycles to explore Prospect Park. Statues would not decorate the arch at Grand Army Plaza for several more years.
Recognize this spot? Today, this area is home to the LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Prospect Park Alliance’s most ambitious restoration project. This statue, The Lioness and Cubs by Victor Peters (1899), now resides in the Prospect Park Zoo.
In the early 1900s, Prospect Park Lake had a small lagoon, necessitating a bridge.
The lagoon was filled in in 1916. While the Summerhouse still exists on the edge of the Lake near the Parkside entrance, the Ford bridge is no longer.
A view of the Summerhouse and former Ford Bridge, 1905.
When the Ambergill Falls were neglected and in need of repair, Prospect Park Alliance used archival photographs like this stereoscopic image to recreate the stonework as part of its ambitious 1990's restoration of the Ravine.
This image depicts Loretta Linnekin, a neighborhood resident, taking a stroll through Prospect Park in 1900. She is seen here feeding a sheep, a flock of which grazed Prospect Park’s meadows at the time.
This 1907 postcard depicts the Prospect Park Concert Grove Pavilion and nearby restaurant. The restaurant was demolished by former Parks Commissioner Robert Moses in 1949.
Today, Prospect Park Alliance is restoring the Pavilion, which suffered from years of water damage, through funding from former speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the Brooklyn Delegation of the New York City Council. Learn more on our Capital Projects Tracker.
Prospect Park Alliance was honored with a 2018 Award for Excellence in Design by the New York City Public Design Commission for the design of the proposed restoration of the Concert Grove Pavilion.
This stereoscopic photograph from 1880 shows a rustic seating area, which overlooked Ambergill Falls and the Dairy. Rustic seating and structures were typical of designer Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision for Prospect Park.
An historic photo taken in Prospect Park. A note written on the back says, “14th Regiment Camp at Prospect Park, July 1917.”
This intricate woodcut print was crafted by artist Harry Fenn from Picturesque America in 1874. Published just a few years after Prospect Park opened to the public, it depicts the park’s bucolic settings, already a hit with the Brooklyn community at the time.