The Great War and NYC: Prospect Park

Filed to: AnimalsProspect ParkWorld War I

World War One Memorial in Prospect Park, erected 1921

April 6, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the US entry into the First World War. America’s involvement was comparatively brief, yet the war had massive impacts on American society. This month, we will be posting a series of articles about the ways in which the war affected the sites where we work in New York City.

War has played an integral part in the history of Prospect Park. In August 1776, the future site of the Park was a battleground, as American troops tried to stop the British advance in the epochal Battle of Brooklyn. Originally conceived in 1861, the Civil War intervened; this turned out to be a blessing, as the pause gave the Park’s commissioners reason to reconsider the original design – with Flatbush Avenue coursing through the middle of the proposed park – and instead hire the visionary team of Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. 50 years into its life, World War I would arrive to alter the Park’s landscape yet again. (more…)