$74M Prospect Park restoration nears completion

August 03, 2012 02:00PM

Nearly five years after architects Tod Williams & Billie Tsien unveiled their designs for Prospect Park’s long neglected Lakeside, the first part of the $74 million project is finally scheduled to open this October, according to Curbed. The 26-acre site along Prospect Park’s lake will honor the original landscaping by Central Park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, whose work was lost after a 1960 renovation that added the Wolman skating rink. The iron railings, five acres of shoreline and the original decorative retaining wall will all be returned to their 19th century splendor. The first phase of the project will return five acres back to the lake and add three acres of green space to the park.

Construction, the first at the park in 50 years, had been delayed because of financing issues, as the cost of the project grew by more than $25 million since plans were first laid out. The work is being paid for not by funds from the park’s budget, but by private donations and city and state dollars. The portion of the park opening this fall was funded through a $10M contribution from the Shelby White and the Leon Levy Foundation.

Other New York Landmark Conservancy plans for the park include the restoration of the musician’s rink, known as “Music Island” and the restoration of two rinks: one for ice-skating in the winter and rollerskating in the summer, while the other will become a water playground. [Curbed] — Christopher Cameron