Brooklyn’s oldest park gets revamp plan

June 23, 2021 Editorial Staff
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Commodore Barry Park named after ‘father of the American Navy’

NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver on Tuesday joined New York State Attorney General Letitia James, Community Board 2 Parks Committee Chair Barbara Zahler-Gringer and community members to  unveil the designs for two planned projects at Commodore Barry Park — the oldest park in Brooklyn. 

The two planned reconstruction projects slated for Commodore Barry Park would completely reimagine the green space, according to the city Parks Department. One project would reconstruct a major portion of the park, including the addition of new baseball and football fields. This project would also add sports lighting, new pathways, landscaping, security lighting, fences and a new more accessible entrance from Navy Street. 

The plan is currently funded in the amount of $11.47 million by Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and a New York State grant. 

The second planned project is not yet funded, but would reconstruct the Multi-Purpose Play Area of the park. The proposed plan includes a full reconstruction of the playground and basketball courts; a brand-new lawn with sitting and picnic areas; climbing and handball walls; a senior and adult fitness area; walking paths and a plaza entrance. 

In addition to these planned projects, a reconstruction of the park’s comfort station is currently in the procurement stage. That project is expected to move into construction later this year. 

NYS Attorney General Letitia James and NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver hold up a placard showing the Commodore Barry Park Master Plan. Photo courtesy of NYC Parks Department

Commodore Barry Park was acquired in 1836 by the Village of Brooklyn and named “City Park.” It was renamed for Commodore John Barry, an Irish immigrant hero of the Revolutionary War who is sometimes called “the father of the American Navy,” in 1951, due to its location next to the Brooklyn Navy Yard that Barry helped found. 

“We are excited to take the initial steps in reimagining and revitalizing Commodore Barry Park,” said Commissioner Silver. “As commissioner, I’ve prioritized working to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to quality parks, and I know how vital this greenspace is to the community it serves. We look forward to eventually breaking ground on these projects and improving these treasured assets.”

“One thing that COVID-19 reiterated to us is that open spaces and parks are the great backyards for communities throughout New York City,” said Borough President Eric Adams. “I was pleased to be able to allocate $800,000 and secure additional state funding to advance the rehabilitation and improvements to turn Commodore Barry Park into a state-of-the-art open space that will serve the residents of the surrounding NYCHA facilities and beyond.”–>

“With the increasing focus on the importance of our physical and mental health, the reconstruction of Commodore Barry Park will provide numerous opportunities for community members to exercise, play and relax.  I am especially thrilled that our children and our seniors will have a space that is beautiful, easily accessible, close, and safe for them to enjoy,” said Councilmember Cumbo.

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