Parks Dept. unveils $7.8M reconstruction of Bensonhurst Park Playground

January 12, 2021 Editorial Staff
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Park adjoins Belt Parkway, Gravesend Bay

Residents of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach, as well as the New York Parks Department itself, recently celebrated the completion of the newly reconstructed Bensonhurst Park Playground in Brooklyn. The treasured park reopened to the public this week.

The small park, which is 0.789 acres, is between Gravesend Bay and Cropsey Avenue, on both sides of the Belt Parkway. The playground is one part of the park, which also includes green space, ballfields and basketball courts.

“Bensonhurst Park and the surrounding community is rich with history and deserving of public greenspaces that can be honored and celebrated,” said NYC Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Martin Maher. “Thanks to the advocacy of community members and the funding support of Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Councilmember Justin Brannan, we are able to deliver the people of Bensonhurst world-class park amenities, play equipment, new pathways, and the comfort of knowing that their families have a safe space to enjoy.”

“Bensonhurst Park is back! Colossal thanks to the NYC Parks Department for their diligent work, completing this project in the middle of a pandemic! Because of their commitment, parents now have a brand-new playground to take their kids to plus new benches and safe paths,” said Brannan (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bath Beach), who grew up in Southwest Brooklyn.

“This is a park that really needed some serious love. It hadn’t seen any since the 1980s and that was not acceptable to me or to anyone. By the time we’re done, we will completely overhaul this entire park so it can be the world-class recreational area that hardworking people deserve,” he added.

Tots will have a swinging time at Bensonhurst Park Playground. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks Department

The Bensonhurst Park Playground reconstruction project upgraded the park’s amenities for the community and features new play equipment including swings, water play elements, an adjacent path system and sitting areas at the north end of the park. The $7.86 million project was funded by de Blasio and Brannan.

The roots of the park go back to 1891, when the then-City of Brooklyn passed a local law calling for “the establishment and government of a public park in the town of New Utrecht, to be known as Bensonhurst Park.” In 1895, the city proceeded to purchase roughly 16 acres of land from various members of the Benson and Lynch families for a total of $88,000.

This original parcel of land constitutes the majority of the park’s present-day acreage. Two smaller parcels were later acquired by condemnation in 1924 and 1944. Bensonhurst Park is among the 26 parks crossed by the Belt Parkway, which divides the park into two sections.

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