Open House New York
Join the Prospect Park Alliance and architects from Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners for free tours of the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside, a National American Institute of Architects award-winning project, as part of Open House New York Weekend. The first tour will run from 11–11:30 am, and the second will run from 12–12:30 pm.
Lakeside is the largest and most ambitious project in Prospect Park since its creation nearly 150 years ago. Spanning 26 acres, this $74 million restoration by the Prospect Park Alliance transformed the southeast corner of the Park into a popular community and recreational destination offering seasonal ice skating, roller skating, biking, boating, and water play. The covered rink will be open for roller skating during this tour, as well as the cafe and all external pathways.
Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners in collaboration with the Alliance’s chief landscape architect Christian Zimmerman, Lakeside is intended to blend into the natural landscape, and is surrounded by acres of scenic beauty. Constructed of rough-hewn dark Canadian granite, the Center is set into the topography of the Park. Earth and extensive planting covers the structure. The L-shaped plan consists of the east block and north block, both one-story structures, which are connected by a bridge at the roof level. Park pathways bring visitors up to the planted roofs to terraces that overlook the rinks and the park beyond.
Following Olmsted and Vaux’s historic plan and through extensive research, the lakeshore has been restored to its original design. The Shelby White and Leon Levy Esplanade features walkways and picnic areas, with newly placed boulders, native trees, shrubs, and aquatic plants. In addition, five acres of the Lake were excavated to recreate Chaim Baier Music Island, which serves as a wildlife habitat.