Brownsville’s triumph: A community plaza revitalized and recognized

August 10, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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Brownsville’s display of community was recognized this week after the Brownsville Community Justice Center was awarded the coveted Excellence in Design Award by the New York City Public Design Commission (PDC) on Tuesday.

The award, presented as part of the 41st Annual Awards for Excellence in Design, recognized the transformative efforts of the Brownsville Community Justice Center in breathing new life into Osborn Plaza. Located just a stone’s throw away from the animated Belmont Avenue, this once overlooked public space is now a flourishing nexus for the community.

Osborn Plaza.
Photo courtesy of the NYC Public Design Commission

With the recent “Be on Belmont” celebration, which aptly chose “Black Joy Carnival” as its theme, the rejuvenated plaza became the epicenter of festivities. A jubilant display of local musicians, mouth-watering food stalls, community vendors, and a rich tapestry of wellness resources encapsulated the vibrant spirit of Brownsville.

The revitalized Osborn Plaza isn’t just about seating, awnings, or the added touch of greenery. It stands as a testament to the possibilities when a community comes together. From hosting community-centric events like markets and performances to serving as a flexible programming space, the plaza is more than just a physical place.

The winning projects of this year’s PDC awards were evaluated based on their potential to promote equity, sustainability, and social cohesion, as highlighted by Mayor Adams. Brownsville’s revitalized plaza perfectly embodies these criteria, transforming an area into a nexus of community engagement and celebration.

Further south, the Brownsville Library, under the guidance of the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Design and Construction, is also receiving an artistic uplift. Soon, patrons will witness two visual arts displays, deeply rooted in local references and data, enhancing the library’s interiors.


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