Prospect Park

Prospect Park gets $3.7 million in funding for improvements

November 2, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Prospect Park is getting $3.7 million for improvements. Eagle photo by Samantha Samel

The Prospect Park Alliance announced on Friday a total of $3.5 million in funding from Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and the City Council to renovate the Oriental Pavilion and Flatbush Avenue Perimeter on the Park’s east side.

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilmember Brad Lander and the entire Brooklyn Delegation allocated $2 million in funding in the City Council’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget to restore the Oriental Pavilion, a historic park structure. Councilmember Laurie Cumbo and Adams also secured $1.5 million in funding for key improvements to the Flatbush Avenue park perimeter.

Additionally, Councilmember Brad Lander, through the Participatory Budgeting process, secured $200,000 to renovate a path on the park’s east side that leads from the Children’s Corner (Prospect Park Zoo, Lefferts Historic House and Prospect Park Carousel) to the Zucker Natural Exploration Area, a children’s play space in the northeast corner of the park.

“It is thanks to our elected officials that we are able to accomplish important projects throughout the park,” said Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. “The alliance relies on funding from private and public sources, which is critical for restoring and maintaining the park. The community has voiced a strong desire to see these projects come to light and we are thankful to our outstanding elected officials who have provided this support.”

“Prospect Park is a valued source of open space for communities across Brooklyn, and enhancing usability and safety around its perimeter is critical to ensuring all residents benefit equally from all the park has to offer,” said Adams. “For too long, there has been a tale of two Prospect Parks, with the east side truly needing support. I am proud that my capital dollars will help the Prospect Park Alliance restore the balance and enhance the experience for park-goers and passersby along Flatbush Avenue, with new fencing, park entrances and sidewalks.”

The Oriental Pavilion, located near Lakeside in the park’s southeast corner, is a key element of the park’s historic design, and has served for decades as a popular spot for family gatherings and picnics. After years of slow deterioration, the pavilion was declared unsafe and closed to the public in 2014. The $2 million in funding will enable the alliance to restore this historic structure and its surrounding pathways. The alliance will also replace the water-damaged roof, install additional lighting and repair stairways leading down from Breeze Hill.

Flatbush Avenue improvements, which include both the $1.5 million secured in the 2016 budget as well as an additional $900,000 secured by Adams and Cumbo in 2015, will nearly double the width of the pedestrian walkway, install new decorative fencing and add an allée of street trees along the park perimeter from Grand Army Plaza toward the Prospect Park Zoo to restore this section of the avenue to its original grandeur.

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