Brooklyn's shoreline has changed a fair bit over the centuries but there are still spots in the borough that spark the imagination and inspire visions of the past.
The 14,000-square-foot triangular park bordered by Fulton Street, Lafayette Avenue and St. Felix Street has been padlocked since 2005.
The park will still house a planned memorial to the area's abolitionist past, but will no longer have underground parking.
Lovers of New York city parks and architecture may be very familiar with the name of Calvert Vaux, but perhaps not so much the Brooklyn park dedicated to the 19th century designer.
A mini-armada of kayaks, canoes, outriggers, and rowing rigs will be occupying the Bushwick Inlet this Saturday to bring attention to a decade-old promise for a 28-acre park along the Greenpoint and Williamsburg waterfronts that has yet to be realized. Organizers invite anyone who cares about this “last remaining open space in North Brooklyn” to join them in occupying the embankment.
There will also be some landlubbing activities, like art bombing, flying protest kites, and encircling the area with caution tape.
Editor’s note: An updated version of this post can be viewed here.
We continue this week’s look at Brooklyn’s natural treasure: Prospect Park. Summer is coming!
Brooklyn, one building at a time.
Name: Prospect Park Peristyle, aka Grecian Shelter, aka Croquet Shelter
Address: 96 Parkside Avenue
Cross Streets: Park Circle and Ocean Avenue
Year Built: 1905
Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival
Architect: McKim, Mead & White
Other Works by Architect: In Brooklyn: Brooklyn Museum, Grand Army Plaza park entrance, and other entrances and structures within Prospect Park (Stanford White)
Landmarked: Yes, individual landmark (1968)
The story: Who doesn’t love this Classical Greek inspired structure? For many people, Prospect Park begins and ends on the Park Slope side, but other parts of the park have some of the best goodies, some hidden, and some, like this shelter, in plain view.
And to learn that it was designed by one of the finest architectural firms in the history of American architecture is just icing on the cake. As summer rapidly is upon us, let’s take a look at this wonderful folly on the Flatbush side of the park.
Just before dawn this morning, a group of artists installed a bust of famed NSA leaker Edward Snowden on a short column at the far edge of the Prison Ship Martyrs monument in Fort Greene Park, according to Animal New York. The Parks Department tied a tarp over the bust around noon, hiding it from the public.
After a year of community workshops, architecture firm WXY Studio has presented its recommendations to link the waterfront, courthouses and the Navy Yard with a series of green spaces — an effort known as the Brooklyn Strand. The Strand would create more public space and easier walking around areas that have been neglected by the Parks Department or made inaccessible by the BQE. During a Community Board 2 meeting on Monday, which we attended, WXY principal Claire Weisz offered improvements and renderings for Borough Hall Park, Cadman Plaza Park, Commodore Barry Park and the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.
Here are the recommendations:
The parking lot next to Borough Hall could be moved underground, freeing up space to build a covered cafe with seating and space for events. Another plan calls for renovating the Brooklyn War Memorial and transforming it into a visitors center. Weisz also suggested adding bike lanes around Cadman Plaza Park, making it more accessible and establishing a better link with the Brooklyn Bridge.
On July 4th, 1902, the bands marched, politicians waxed poetic, and the people celebrated on this, the grand opening of the Warren Hill Park, on top of Mount Ida, overlooking downtown Troy. The year before, after a few positive voices of agreement, along with the usual contentious wrangling and pompous posturing, the City Council of Troy voted in favor of purchasing the parkland to create Troy’s newest and most important public park.
As our Brooklyn readers all know, Prospect Park was designed by the famed landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park. That park opened in 1857 with great fanfare and much success. As well it should; Central Park is one of the great urban parks, and Olmsted and Vaux created a masterpiece of natural and enhanced landscaping that America had never seen before. When the City Fathers from across the East River in Brooklyn went to inspect the park, of course, they wanted one too.