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This post courtesy of Explore Brooklyn, an all-inclusive guide to the businesses, neighborhoods, and attractions that make Brooklyn great.

More Walking Tours: Bay Ridge

The Park Slope Historic District, consisting of 33 blocks in the northern part of Park Slope, is one of the most architecturally and historically rich areas of Brooklyn. It’s mostly residential, consisting of brownstones and other ornately decorated buildings, all built from 1862 to about 1920. The neighborhood and its tree-lined streets are a wonderful place to take an aimless stroll on a sunny day.

In 1973, The New York Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the area as a historic district, citing its “cross-section of the important trends in American architecture of the time, [including] late Italianate, French Second Empire, neo-Grec, Victorian Gothic, Queen Anne and exceptional notable examples of Romanesque Revival houses, the finest in the City and among the most outstanding in the country.” In 1980, the historic district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

For this walk, we’ve chosen a route that takes you past the most notable buildings and down the prettiest blocks. Take your time, bring a camera, and enjoy being in one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

Photo courtesy of NYC-Architecture.com.

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Who wouldn’t want to live in Park Slope? This charming, family-friendly neighborhood is known not only for its stunning architecture but its great parks, schools, transportation, restaurants, and bars. The growth has extended down to 4th Avenue, a bustling main drag that’s now home to up-and-coming restaurants, friendly neighborhood bars, and a number of subway lines. Arias Park Slope, a luxury rental building located on 4th Avenue and Butler Street, is in the heart of it all. Here, you’ll find spacious, modern apartments designed to accommodate both families and individuals.

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Vale of Cashmere, Prospect Park | Monica Berger via Curbed

Prospect Park is the crown jewel of Brooklyn, a masterpiece of landscape architecture by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the visionaries behind Central Park and hundreds of parks and green spaces across the U.S. To Brooklynites, however, Prospect Park is more than a piece of history — it’s their playground, their meeting place, and their chance to commune with nature.

It’s no surprise, then, that many in Brooklyn dream of living across from Prospect Park. 123 on the Park, a new rental development on the southern edge of the park, can make that dream a reality. With modern luxury rental units and numerous amenities, 123 on the Park offers a unique parkside living experience. Following are five of the best reasons to live across from Prospect Park.

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We know you’re thinking about Christmas right now, but don’t forget about the spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks show at Grand Army Plaza! There will be live music and hot chocolate starting around 11 pm, followed by the fireworks at midnight. The best vantage points for the show include Grand Army Plaza, on West Drive inside Prospect Park, and along Prospect Park West between Grand Army Plaza and 9th Street. Head over to Prospect Park’s website for more details.

Photo by Pixonomy

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It’s no surprise that people love living in Prospect Park South. The neighborhood borders Brooklyn’s favorite amenity — Prospect Park — and is also home to a growing number of local restaurants, bars and shops. The area is mostly dominated by free-standing Victorian homes, complete with front yards and porches, as well as older buildings. That’s why 123 on the Park, a new rental development overlooking Prospect Park, is unique for the neighborhood. Here you’ll find modern, luxury rentals and top-of-the-line amenities within the quaint, historic neighborhood of Prospect Park South.

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After a cyclist struck and killed a pedestrian in Central Park, the 78th Precinct is rolling out ways to get cyclists in Prospect Park to slow down and stop for pedestrians at lights. Park Slope Stoop attended the precinct’s local community council meeting last night, where the cops said they’re going to set up portable stop signs and pedestrian-activated signals manned by officers during the day starting Saturday, October 4.

When cyclists stop at the signs, officers will remind them to stop for pedestrians at the signals and give out a flyer noting the 25-mile-per-hour speed limit. Eventually, Captain Frank diGiacomo said, if cyclists don’t stop for pedestrians, cops will pull out their radar guns and start giving out tickets.

“A summons blitz is just going to piss off a bunch of people, so education first,” he said. “But we’ll go there if we have to.”

Prospect Park Safety in the Spotlight Again Following Deadly Crash in Central Park [Park Slope Stoop]
Photo via Park Slope Stoop

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A group of residents who live near Prospect Park want to ban grilling in the park, because they say it causes toxic fumes to waft into playgrounds, public walkways and nearby homes. Park Sloper Daz Ryan has garnered 132 signatures so far on his Change.org petition, “Make Prospect Park Toxic Free by 2015.”

She told the Daily News she lives near the park on 14th Street and suffered through years of hazardous smoke seeping into her house. She is forced to close all her windows, and the smoke has even set off her carbon monoxide detector, she said.

Grilling is only allowed in certain areas on the outskirts of the park, but plenty of parkgoers ignore the rules and set up grills wherever they please, according to the story. The fumes also affect aquatic life, herons, ducks, turtles, frogs and possums, according to park cleanup volunteer Randi Lass.

“Runoff from the charcoal wind up in the lake, threatening all living things that require the lake for sustenance,” she told the News.

At least one park goer was outraged by the proposal. “This is everybody’s backyard,” he said as he grilled burgers. “Not everybody has the privilege of having a backyard.”

Borough President Eric Adams’ office said they were considering the issue. What do you think should be done?

Prospect Park-Goers Call for a Barbecue Ban in the Massive Green Space [NYDN]
Photo by Kristin Resurreccion

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Brooklyn Brainery is hosting another cool Brooklyn history class, this time on the rise and fall of Prospect Park, which  planners Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux envisioned as a pastoral refuge. By the mid-1970s, the park had become a symbol of the borough’s urban decay and rising crime rates, and “the goddess driving atop the arch in Grand Army Plaza had fallen over in her chariot,” writes urban planning researcher Patrick Lamson-Hall in the workshop description.

But 30 years later, Brooklynites are proud of the park once again. It has a newly landscaped lakefront, a new ice skating rink and clean, rolling green space everyone can appreciate.

“Prospect Park is the the heart and lungs of Brooklyn,” writes Lamson-Hall. “Its decay and subsequent revival showcase important lessons about urban public space, public safety and policing, and the powerful role of citizens in reclaiming their city.”

The workshop costs $10 and will happen from 6:30 to 8 pm on March 11. You can buy tickets here.

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We’re a little late to this news, but the two ice rinks at the LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park opened to the public on Friday. The 32,000-square-foot skating facility includes an open ice rink and a covered one, which will be used as a roller rink during the spring and summer, and a cafe and event space.

The LeFrank-funded rink replaces the 50-year-old Wollman Rink, which closed in 2010. As we have reported, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects designed the $74,000,000 Lakeside complex and helped restore the waterfront to its original Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux design.

The new rinks are near the Parkside and Ocean Avenue entrance to the park. Holiday hours are available on the Lakeside website, and admission is $6 on weekdays and $8 on holidays and weekends. Skate rental is $5.

Restoration and Skating Rinks Offer Tranquility, Natural Wonder in Prospect Park [Brownstoner]
Inside the Prospect Park Lakeside Center [Brownstoner]
Image by Mary for Ditmas Park Corner