In a move calculated to raise its profile among more New Yorkers and tourists, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will open a spinoff in Brooklyn Bridge Park Saturday October 15th. The annex, called Spark, is the 117-year old Crown Heights institution’s first permanent presence outside its original location.
The 1,850-square-feet venue at 1 John Street is expected to host 50,000 visitors in its first year.
“We’re proud that some of Brooklyn’s most venerable cultural institutions now call the park home and look forward to welcoming visitors from across the borough and the city to Spark,” said Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer.
The development is not without controversy, however. There have been debates in the community about the benefits of the expansion.
Spark will offer indoor and outdoor learning and play spaces for children ages six months to six years. The first exhibit will be Brooklyn Block Lab, an early childhood block play workshop that’s been popular at the Crown Heights location. There will be daily classes, space for birthday parties, and free admission on Thursday afternoons. The outpost will partner with several nearby schools, including P.S. 307, a STEM elementary school in nearby Vinegar Hill that was recently rezoned.
The location, 1 John Street, is a new condo development in the park overlooking the water near the Manhattan Bridge. Developer and architect Alloy and Monadnock Development donated and designed the space and materials for the annex.
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