Take a deep dive into the art and architecture of Prospect Park Zoo on this virtual program that will include a live broadcast interview with Zoo Director Denise McClean of the Wildlife Conservation Society. We will learn about the history of architectural designs for zoos across New York City, the story of architect Aymar Embury III and his designs for the zoo, stories behind the animal-inspired bas reliefs and sculptures, (including the artist behind the beloved topiary sculptures), and the evolution of the zoo itself over time.>> Continue reading
In 1881, Spanish engineer Rafael Guastavino arrived in New York City and unveiled his new technology for building self-supporting vaulted tile ceilings. These ceilings are now iconic elements of many New York landmarks, and city is home to more than 250 of them, but no place has a denser concentration than Prospect Park. On this virtual tour, we’ll look at many of the ceilings up close, including in Grand Army Plaza, the Tennis House, and the Prospect Park Zoo, as we discuss this engineering marvel.
- Map of Guastavino Structures of Prospect Park
- Palaces for the People: Guastavino and America’s Great Public Spaces
- WATCH: Making a replica vault at the National Building Museum
- Rafael Guastavino (1892) Essay on the theory and history of cohesive construction applied especially to the timbrel vault
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.
- Emerald Necklace Conservancy
- NYC Health, “Active Design Guide for Community Groups”
- National Association for Olmsted Parks
- Discover Seneca Village
Prospect Park has been an indispensable oasis throughout the pandemic. As more Brooklynites venture outdoors, we will visit one of the more secluded areas of the park, the Rose Garden and Vale of Cashmere. This program will explore the history of this area in the park’s northeast corner; its past uses as a playground, wedding venue, and tropical garden; and the Prospect Park Alliance’s future plans for the area and the park’s Flatbush Avenue perimeter.
- Prospect Park Alliance
- Reimagining the Rose Garden
- Thomas Moore’s “Lalla Rookh” (1817)
- New York Preservation Archive
NYC naturalist Gabriel Willow gives a multimedia presentation about Pale Male and some of the other Red-tailed Hawks that have made an astonishing and inspiring comeback in the area over the past 30 years. There were no breeding Red-tails in urban NYC & NJ in the 1980s, and now there are at least 50 pairs! We’ll also discuss the basics of raptor identification and conservation challenges as well. Gabriel Willow is an Educator and Urban Naturalist who leads tours and teaches classes for NYC Audubon, Wave Hill, and others, co-created an innovative interactive citizen science program and app called The WildLab, and is an illustrator and DJ.
- Gabriel Willow on Facebook • Twitter • Instagram
- “Pale Male is Taking His Cues from Hefner,” New York Times, April 8, 2011
- Hawk Mountain, PA
- 55 Water Street Falcon Cam
- Red Tails in Love (2005) by Marie Winn
- Central Park in the Dark (2008) by Marie Winn
- Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City (2008) by Jane Schulman
Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted are best known for designing landmark landscapes in New York City and across the country, most notably Prospect Park and Central Park. Both men had wildly different lives and careers before their collaboration began, and yet they found incredible chemistry and creative energy together, though later their lives again diverged. This program will look closely at the biographies of both men and how their life experiences and outlooks are reflected in the spaces they created together.
- Frederick Law Olmsted Papers in the Library of Congress
- National Association for Olmsted Parks
- Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted (2012)
- WATCH: Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America (PBS)
Are you ready to learn about NYC from the comfort of your own home? Join us, the Center for Architecture, and Prospect Park Alliance for a virtual version of Archtober Trivia Night! We’ll be diving deep into questions about NYC architecture, history, and culture, and you can play along in teams or on your own. Grab your dog, your cat, and/or fellow NYC history buffs to play, and it’s totally free! You do not have to be an architect or expert to participate.
From Coney Island to DUMBO, this virtual program will look at Brooklyn’s surviving historic carousels. We will delve into the history of the art form of carousel design, discuss Brooklyn’s own unique style of carousels, and we will have a special focus on the 1912 carousel in Prospect Park, created by master carver Charles Carmel, and the restoration work done to this masterpiece of carousel design over the years.
- Prospect Park Carousel
- Watch a behind the scenes visit to the Prospect Park Carousel
- Restoration of the B&B Carousell in the New York Times
- Read about Jane’s Carousel during Superstorm Sandy
- Carousel History
- Vintage and Antique Carousels
Prospect Park is not just 585 acres for people, but animals, too. We’ll share stories of the furry, feathery, scaly, and slimy inhabitants of the park throughout history, including the livestock that used to work in the park, the inhabitants of the various zoos over time, the dogs that roam the meadows during off-leash hours, and the many wild fauna that thrive in the park today.
Celebrate Earth Day by virtually exploring Brooklyn’s largest forest with us and Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein. We will learn about some of the park’s 30,000 trees, ongoing forest maintenance and restoration projects, and how the the Alliance is adapting to challenges like climate change, invasive species, pests, and extreme weather events.
- Trees of Prospect Park
- Prospect Park tree survey
- Treekeeper Database of Prospect Park Trees
- Become a Prospect Park Alliance Member