Prospect Park

Historic Prospect Park pavilion will get $2 million restoration

January 16, 2020 Mary Frost
The Concert Grove Pavilion is getting a full restoration. Photo: Paul Matinka

A beloved pavilion located inside Prospect Park is getting a $2 million restoration.

The historic Concert Grove Pavilion, designed by Calvert Vaux in 1874, has been closed since 2014 due to structural damage. Officials and community members gathered on Tuesday to kick off the start of its renovation, funded by the New York City Council.

The funds will go to repair water damage, reconstruct missing historical details and repaint the structure based on historic images. The work will also restore pathways, lighting and landscaping. The project is estimated to be completed by the end of this year.

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Sue Donoghue, president of Prospect Park Alliance, called the architectural structure a beloved community landmark, “serving as the location for many family reunions, birthday parties and community celebrations for many years.” Until 2014, the pavilion could be rented for small events.

The restoration plan won an Award for Excellence in Design by the New York City Public Design Commission last year.

The pavilion’s stained glass roof. Photo: Paul Matinka
The pavilion’s stained glass roof. Photo: Paul Matinka

“Generations of families, concert-goers, and picnickers made memories” at the pavilion, Councilmember Brad Lander said in a statement. He credited the work of the Prospect Park Alliance, former Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the rest of the Brooklyn Delegation for making it happen.

The pavilion is located in a section of the park that was often overlooked in the past. Council Majority Leader Lauri Cumbo called the restoration a step forward towards a more equitable Brooklyn.

“We want to make sure that no borough or neighborhood is forgotten when it comes to the restoration of our parks,” she said in a statement.


Sometimes called the Oriental Pavilion, the design borrows motifs from Hindu, Chinese, Moorish and Egyptian architecture.

It was almost completely destroyed by fire in 1974, but its eight cast iron columns were saved and the pavilion was rebuilt, with a copper and wood roof and stained-glass skylight, in 1988. Since then, however, it has deteriorated due to water damage.


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