Alliance Receives $8.9M for Restoration of Grand Army Plaza
August 24, 2018
Prospect Park Alliance is delighted to announce that our organization has received funding from the City to undertake a range of important capital projects in the park. This work, which will be undertaken by the Alliance’s award-winning design team, adds to a full slate of projects currently underway in the park. Review these on our Capital Projects Tracker.
Most significantly, today Mayor Bill de Blasio announced he is providing $8.9 million to restore Grand Army Plaza, more specifically the historic Soldier and Sailors Memorial Arch and the landscaped berms that frame the Plaza.
Grand Army Plaza is the formal entrance of Prospect Park. In 1889, the Plaza became the site of the Soldiers and Sailors Arch, which was dedicated in 1892 to commemorate those who fought with the Union troops during the Civil War. The Arch was landmarked in 1975, when the structure was in severe disrepair, and in 1976 the figure of Columbia literally fell from her chariot. The City undertook a restoration of the Arch in 1980.
Nearly 40 years later, the Arch is once again in need of restoration. This $8.9 million capital project will enable the Alliance to replace the Arch’s roof, clean and repoint the brick and stone structure, repair the interior iron staircases that lead to the roof, and replace the interior and exterior lighting. The project will also include replanting the landscaped berms that frame the Plaza on its east and west sides, which are sustained by Alliance horticultural crews and volunteers. This includes adding new trees and replacing the existing chain link fence with a low steel panel fence. Additionally, the Alliance will remove the broken bluestone pavement that surrounds the plaza’s John F. Kennedy Memorial and the Bailey Fountain with granite pavement.
In addition to the restoration of Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park Alliance also received $1 million in funding from the Brooklyn delegation of the New York City Council for infrastructure improvements to the park’s former Rose Garden in the northeast corner of the Park. Together these projects advance the Alliance’s current focus on the northeast corner of the park, which also includes the restoration of the Flatbush Avenue perimeter of the park, through funding from Borough President Eric Adams and New York City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo; the construction of two new entrances to the park on Flatbush Avenue—the first new entrances to the park since the 1940s—through funding from NYC Parks through its Parks without Borders program; and restoring pathways, benches and lighting in the northeast corner of the park through funding from the mayor.
This year the Alliance also received funding from City Council Members Brad Lander and Mathieu Eugene through the Participatory Budgeting process, where community members vote on funding projects at the heart of the community. Prospect Park Alliance has always done well in this process, which is a testament to how much the park means to each of you. This year, we received funding from Council Member Lander to create a senior fitness playground at Harmony Playground, as well as make general improvements to this cherished playspace, and Council Member Eugene provided funding for a second adult fitness area in the Parade Ground. These are a testament to the park’s importance in Brooklynites’ quality of life.
Please visit our Capital Projects Tracker to learn more about the full range of projects currently in the works in Prospect Park.