Brooklyn’s Prospect Park – Things You Need to Know

The Prospect Park in Brooklyn was designed and constructed over a thirty-year period (between 1865 and 1895) by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the masterminds who built its northern counterpart, the Central Park. However, this was several years after they were commissioned to design the Central Park. Believed to be the landscape architects’ finest works, Prospect Park has, over the years, blossomed into a prime destination for the residents and the visitors to Brooklyn alike. This year marks the 151st anniversary of the founding of Prospect Park.


What it lacks in size (when compared to its northern neighbor), the Prospect Park makes up for in subtle landscaping, a plethora of diversions and a refreshing lack of tourists. Contained within its 526 acres of land are rolling meadows, a man-made waterways system and jagged woodlands, which when combined, make the park a highly functional green space. The Prospect Park also houses United State’s first urban-area Audubon Center at the boathouse, an ice rink, a bandshell (free summer concerts), a carousel, a mini zoological park and several other recreational and athletic facilities and Brooklyn’s only lake.


Some other facilities within the park are:


  • Barbecuing Areas
  • Baseball Fields
  • Bathrooms
  • Bicycling and Greenways
  • Dog-friendly Areas
  • Eateries
  • Fishing
  • Fitness Equipment
  • Great Trees
  • Hiking Trails
  • Historic Houses
  • Horseback Riding Trails
  • Ice Skating Rink
  • Nature Centers
  • Playgrounds
  • Spray Showers
  • Tennis Courts
  • Zoos and Aquariums


In modern times, however, the park’s story has been that of disregard and indifference. But that was until the 2013 restoration (costing as much as $74 million) by a devoted band of arborists, horticulturists, architects and landscape architects, an underutilized section of the Park was restored and redesigned, honoring the original vision of Frederik and Calvert. And today, the authorities maintain many of its historical elements while at the same time, constantly revitalizing and progressing.


And just in case you missed it, the park is now permanently closed to motor vehicles. To avoid the parking hassle and to comfort the travelers, there is a good weekday service for buses in and around.


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