Brooklyn’s biggest lake is in Prospect Park – but where does all of the water in the lake come from? Join this live virtual visit to Prospect Park, where we will explore not just the lake, but all of the waterfalls, streams, and ponds that run through the park, and the pipes that run underneath it! We’ll learn how the water system works, and how it has changed throughout history. We’ll also go behind the scenes inside the Wellhouse; Prospect Park Alliance recently transformed this historic building, which once housed machinery for pumping water into the lakes and streams, into the first composting toilets in an NYC park. We’ll explore how this environmentally-friendly system works and get to see the bugs and worms that help break down waste from the bathrooms!
Take a short trip west of New York City to explore a little-known and much misunderstood language and culture: the Pennsylvania Dutch, who aren’t Dutch at all but German. Educator and entertainer Keith Brintzenhoff takes us beyond pork and sauerkraut, hex signs and distelfinks, to learn about this German immigrant community, efforts to preserve its endangered language, and opportunities to celebrate its music, food, and more.
In late 2020, as part of the long-overdue cleanup of the Gowanus Canal Superfund site in Brooklyn, dredging of the toxic sediment began, and photographer, filmmaker, and writer Nathan Kensinger has been there to document it. For more than a decade, Nathan has been recording images and stories of New York City’s waterfront, with a special focus on the industrial landscapes, hidden ecosystems, and environmental challenges of coastal communities. In this conversation, Nathan will show some of his photography and film about the Gowanus and discuss the canal’s environmental history, the cleanup process, and the changing neighborhood around it.
Please join our friends at the Brooklyn Navy Yard for a virtual opening of new public art, Atmosphere for Invention, now on view in Buildings 77 and 92. The program will include the premiere of a short video featuring all nine artists and their new works, as well as remarks, virtual cheers and toasts, and Q&A. The Brooklyn Navy Yard has initiated a public art program for artists seeking to create site-specific installations in public spaces. With the cultural sector among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative serves to economically uplift members of the Yard’s creative community while also providing the community with art activations to enjoy around the site. Each of the works on view use elements of color, texture, and light to establish a dialogue with the history of the site as well as its evolving ecosystem of people, labor, and infrastructure. Together, the works capture the innovative spirit of the Yard and its forward-looking future. Artists on view include Tatiana Arocha, Beth Campbell, Paul Campbell, JC Cancedda, Noël Copeland, Monique Luchetti, Jackie Meier, Lindsay Walt, and Tracy Wuischpard.
Prospect Park Alliance recently completed the restoration of the Endale Arch, one of the original portals to the park designed by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted. Get an insider’s look at the restoration process, which required years of research, incredibly skilled craftspeople, and painstakingly detailed work to bring the arch back to its original splendor. We will be joined by Sarena Rabinowitz, Assistant Architect, Design & Construction at the Alliance about the years-long, multi-phase process to restore the full arch, and Curtis Barnhart of Barnhart Restoration & Design, which did the restoration work on the stunning interior. We will also go live to the arch itself to see these wonderful details up close. This program is offered in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance, and the arch restoration was generously funded by the Tiger Baron Foundation, with additional support from Council Member Brad Lander through District 39 participatory budgeting.
Over the past four centuries, the Battery at the tip of Manhattan has evolved, from a fortification to immigration station to park to National Monument. On this virtual walking tour, we will take advantage of the sweeping views of the harbor, share the history of Castle Clinton and the park, and explore some of its many monuments. The Battery is in many ways New York City’s World War II memorial, housing the Eastern Sea Frontier Memorial, the Norwegian Veterans Memorial, the haunting American Merchant Mariners’ Memorial, and the Museum of Jewish Heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust.
Join us as we explore one of the most curious chapters in the history of Prospect Park, the four years (2005–2009) during which the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch in Grand Army Plaza housed a free lending library of puppets! Our guests will be master puppeteers Sara Peattie of the Puppeteers Cooperative and Theresa Linnihan, who operated that puppet library and performance space. The library was forced to move due to the arch’s leaky roof, but now the Prospect Park Alliance is preparing for a major renovation, so we thought this would be the perfect time to talk to the last tenant of the arch! Theresa and Sara will share stories, images, and puppets from this important community resource, which lives on in its current home at Brooklyn College.
Since 2003, IceStone has been manufacturing countertops in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Made from 100% recycled glass, cement, and pigment, their unique designs and innovative production process have made IceStone a leading company in sustainable manufacturing. On this virtual tour, we will explore their products and process with Marketing Director Ashon McCollin, who will walk us through their factory, discuss commercial and residential projects they have worked on, and highlight the company’s initiatives to support the environment and their workers, which have made them a Certified B Corporation and a leader in the social enterprise movement.
At each of the water passages that lead to New York Harbor – from the Narrows to Hell Gate, Ambrose Channel to the Race – disused forts stand on either shore, once guarding these entrances. In this virtual program, we will explore the history of coastal fortifications in New York from the Revolutionary War to World War II, examining the different eras of fort construction and the technological advancements that drove the changes in these forts’ shape, armament, and role over time. We will also look at how these forts have been repurposed today – as parks, schools, museums, and the last active military base in New York City.