Prospect Park’s LeFrak Center wins prestigious architecture award
American Institute of Architects (AIA) has honored the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside in Prospect Park with a 2015 Honor Award, a prestigious honor in the field of architecture. The LeFrak Center was selected for this award from a pool of nearly 500 candidates.
“It is a true testament to the strength of the LeFrak Center’s design that it is enjoyed by both the local community and the national architectural community alike,” said Sue Donoghue, president of the Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that operates Prospect Park in partnership with the city. “The restoration of Lakeside has set the bar in terms of what can be achieved in Prospect Park, and we look forward to continuing to further this vision.”
This year-round skating and recreational amenity opened to the public in December 2013. It is the largest and most ambitious project in Prospect Park since the Park’s creation nearly 150 years ago.
The Prospect Park Alliance’s $74 million restoration honors the original design while transforming an underutilized section of the Park. Lakeside has previously won design awards from the Municipal Art Society of New York, the New York City Public Design Commission and the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
The project was designed by the famed Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in collaboration with the Prospect Park Alliance’s chief landscape architect, Christian Zimmerman. “We feel so lucky to have had this chance to do truly public work. It is the most democratic and thus most important work we can ever do,” said Tsien.
In selecting the LeFrak Center, the AIA Honor Award Jury said, “The stonework grounds it as a landmark within the park, while the openness of the design itself allows for complete amalgamation with the view and the experience of nature… Every design decision was made so as to ease use on patrons and also to minimize the impact on the park. This is a beautiful, natural spot for visitors to enjoy a sensory experience.”
Entry to the LeFrak Center is free and open to the public, with an admission fee associated with skating and skating-related services. Hours, admission, skate prices, and other information can be found atwww.prospectpark.org/lakeside.
—Information from Prospect Park Alliance
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