Brooklyn Heights

Cadman Plaza Park’s grand transformation is about to begin

January 10, 2023 Mary Frost
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Cadman Plaza Park, on the border of Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn, is about to undergo a grand transformation.

The shady oval section at the north end will soon be closed for roughly one year for a $6.4 million upgrade that includes a new lawn, new paths, replaced plumbing for water and drinking fountains, new planting and lighting.

In addition, the artificial turf portion of the park at the southern end will be replaced. Black infill pellets made of shredded tires have been spilling from the turf for years, sticking to the clothing, hands and hair of anyone playing there.

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The Parks Department has released a Request for Proposals for the operation and development of a new café to be built inside a former Parks maintenance building along Cadman Plaza West and Tillary Street.
Photo: Mary Frost

Parks has also recently released a Request for Proposals for the operation and development of a new café to be built inside an existing former Parks maintenance building along Cadman Plaza West and Tillary Street.

Doreen Gallo, president of the Cadman Park Conservancy. Photo courtesy of Robert London

“The Cadman Park Conservancy and all of our park users are grateful for the beginning of the long-awaited reconstruction of the Cadman Plaza Oval,” said Doreen Gallo, president of the Cadman Park Conservancy and the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance.

Councilmember Lincoln Restler. Photo courtesy of Robert London

“In addition to what is happening on the north end of the park, park users are overjoyed that our astroturf field is being replaced,” Gallo added. “A special thank you to Councilmember Lincoln Restler for allocation of the necessary funding and to Commissioner Martin Maher for his advocacy. The community has come together in advocating for these improvements over a very long time.”

“The north end of Cadman Plaza Park has not had a water source on that end of the park in over 15 years.” Gallo pointed out. “[Current] Commissioner Mahar and [former] Councilmember Levin prioritized this Capital improvement in 2018 … and we will finally have the water repaired.”

A mist hangs over the northern oval section of Cadman Plaza Park. The oval is soon to undergo a $6.4 million renovation.
Photo: Mary Frost

Mature trees will be protected

“There are a lot of beautiful, mature trees in this area, and we’ve done everything we can to protect those trees in this contract, and add more trees where possible,” said Davey Ives, chief of staff for the Parks Department’s Brooklyn Borough Commissioner’s Office. Ives spoke at an October Community Board 2 meeting.

The artificial turf portion of Cadman Plaza Park, at the southern end, will be replaced by a less potentially toxic type of artificial turf.
Photo: Mary Frost

No more toxic turf

Ives said that the turf replacement would begin next fall and be completed sometime in the spring of 2024. The new turf will likely not be made from the (possible) toxic shredded tires. “From what I’m aware of, the latest spec that we use is actually sand that’s coated in silicon.”

The Parks Department is also working on the $2 million reconstruction of the public bathroom in the basement of the Cadman War Memorial building. The new bathrooms will be ADA-compliant, with hand dryers and a baby-changing station.

The WWII War Memorial Building is currently closed as interior renovations continue. Photo: Mary Frost
The WWII War Memorial Building is currently closed as interior renovations continue. Photo: Mary Frost
Map courtesy of NYC Parks

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