Walking Tour of New Park Features
July 21, 2021
Prospect Park's 585 acres boast a variety of picturesque destinations, delightful nature elements, and important architectural features, shaped by 150+ years of history. For those interested in learning more, Turnstile Tours offers in-park tours weekly to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at Brooklyn's Backyard. Learn more and book your tour today.
Prospect Park Alliance has recently completed work on a few exciting projects around the park, and we've put together a self-guided walking tour for you to enjoy during your next park visit. Let's get started!
Endale Arch (directions) Above, the newly restored Endale Arch in Prospect Park, c. Paul Martinka.
Entering the park from Grand Army Plaza, head in through the pathway furthest on the left, closest to the Brooklyn Public Library. Follow the path to the newly restored Endale Arch, a transporting portal out of the concrete of the city and into the peaceful landscape of the park.
Endale Arch was one of the first architectural elements constructed in Prospect Park in the 1860's, conceived of by park creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. In recent decades, the arch had fallen into disrepair, and Prospect Park Alliance undertook a restoration that completed in 2020. Now, fully restored to it's original splendor, visitors can enjoy the alternating color motif and fine craftsmanship of the arch with the added benefit of new LED lighting that illuminates the interior. The result is a breathtaking window into Prospect Park's historic past—learn more about the Endale Arch.
Head south down the path by the Long Meadow, and cross the Park Drive at Nellie's Lawn. Follow the path into the woods and you'll arrive and Prospect Park's first new entrance to be added to the park since the 1940's. The Flatbush Avenue Entrance was funded by Mayor Bill de Blasio through the Parks Without Borders initiative, and was designed by Prospect Park Alliance.
The entrance, which opened in early 2021 features new landscaping, seating and lighting, two rock scrambles, and plantings of a variety of resilient trees, shrubs, and flowering plants. It is the only park entrance that leads directly into the woodlands, and provides easy access to the Rose Garden and Vale of Cashmere. Learn more about the contruction and features of the new Flatbush Avenue Entrance.
Continue south, either along the Park Drive or on the paths that meander through the Ravine. Pass the Boathouse and arrive at the newly restored Concert Grove Pavilion. The Pavilion was designed by Calvert Vaux in 1874 and borrows motifs from Hindu, Chinese, Moorish and Egyptian architecture. The Pavilion—a beloved community destination, was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1974, but the elaborate cast iron columns were salvaged and the pavilion was restored for the first time in 1988, and again in 2021.
Through this current restoration, the Alliance brought back beautiful features including elaborately detailed wooden trim and moldings at the eaves of the roof, terne-coated, stainless-steel roof shingles, and new high-efficiency light fixtures illuminate a beautiful star-patterned, stained-glass ceiling in the center dome and light the surrounding landscape. Learn more about the restoration of the Concert Grove Pavilion.