Join us for a special virtual tour in celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted’s 200th birthday that explores two of his New York City masterpieces—Central Park and Prospect Park. Built a decade apart, Central and Prospect Park share many similarities, but also reflect Olmsted’s evolution as a park designer and his lasting influence on landscape design and public space. Guides from Central Park Conservancy will be on site to highlight Central Park’s arches, meadows, and natural features, as Turnstile Tours guides examine parallel features in Prospect Park and compare and contrast the different elements of the parks, including examples of Olmsted designs that have been adapted to fit better with modern-day recreational uses and ecological practices.
Built in 1874, the Concert Grove Pavilion is a stunning example of Prospect Park co-designer Calvert Vaux’ colorful and decorative style. Earlier this year, the Prospect Park Alliance completed a $2 million restoration of the pavilion, which was last restored in 1988. Joined by Prospect Park Alliance Assistant Architect Sheena Enriquez, we will look closely at the pavilion’s beautiful details, including its cast iron columns that contain motifs borrowed from Hindu, Chinese, Moorish, and Egyptian architecture, its elaborate roof finials and eaves, and its newly-illuminated stained glass ceiling. Sheena will share how the restoration team did extensive archival research, conducted color testing to match the pavilion’s original design, and repaired and recreated damaged or missing pieces.
On this virtual walk, we will join Prospect Park Alliance’s gardeners for a tour of their work doing spring plantings around the Lakeside section of the park, including on the intensive green roof garden atop the LeFrak Center skating rink. Corbin Laedlein, Lakeside Lead EcoZone Gardener for the Alliance, will walk us through the landscape and discuss how they choose different plants for ecological, aesthetic, habitat purposes.
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.
Join us for a virtual exploration of Prospect Park’s waterways. We will look closely at the ingenious drainage system and chain of manmade streams and ponds that terminate in Brooklyn’s largest lake, follow the park’s scenic watercourse, and go inside one of the most unique features of the park: the 1869 Wellhouse, the park’s last remaining building by park designer Calvert Vaux, which once housed the machinery that fueled the watercourse and was recently restored by the Prospect Park Alliance and converted into the first composting restrooms in a NYC park.
Celebrate Climate Week NYC and learn how climate change has affected Prospect Park and other natural areas in New York City and the projections for the future, including how Prospect Park Alliance and the Natural Areas Conservancy is using the best available science to mitigate the negative effects of climate change and preserve our urban forests. We will again be joined by Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein and Natural Areas Conservancy’s Justin Bowers, program manager for Natural Areas Restoration and the creator of Forest Identification and Restoration Selection Tool (FIRST), which helps forest restoration practitioners manage for and adapt to geographic and climate conditions.
Learn how Prospect Park restores and manages habitat for pollinator conservation, why invertebrates are so important to Brooklyn, how managers choose plants, why native plants are critical to pollinator survival, and how anyone with a little bit of space can plant a pollinator-friendly native garden. We will again be joined by Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein.
Get to know the trees of Prospect Park! Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein joins us again for a discussion about the 30,000 trees of the park. We will look at common native and invasive tree species (and how to recognize them), the different forest types in the park, why some of our native trees are so valuable to wildlife, some unusual and less common trees, and how the Prospect Park Alliance manages Brooklyn’s last forest.
Join our conversation with Sara Carr, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and Landscape at Northeastern University, who will discuss Frederick Law Olmsted’s origins in public health, and how his background in the US Sanitary Commission during the Civil War, and his journalistic advocacy inspired his designs of Central Park and Prospect Park. Olmsted’s prolific writings give us an insight into how he thought about the intersection of human, ecological, and societal health, which resonate strongly in our pandemic era. But as his living legacies face unprecedented urban challenges, we must also think about how they can sustain and at times even transform for a just and sustainable future. This program is presented in partnership with the Prospect Park Alliance.