Hard Hat Tour – Lakeside, Prospect Park
Christian Zimmerman, Vice President for Design and Construction at Prospect Park Alliance.
Lakeside Center, Prospect Park
Emily Lloyd, Prospect Park Alliance President and Prospect Park Administrator.
August 1, 2012
Conservancy members were given an exclusive tour of Lakeside, a new 26-acre, $74 million project under construction in Prospect Park. It features a painstaking restoration of the original Olmsted landscape that will bring back the historic character and beauty of that portion of the Park.
Prospect Park is a 585-acre urban oasis located in the heart of the brownstone belt. It is the Brooklyn masterpiece of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who designed Central Park several years earlier and are said to have perfected their approach to urban landscape design at Prospect Park, their second major commission.
The Lakeside project encompasses the restoration of 26 acres of parkland, much of which was changed beyond recognition when the old Wollman rink was built in 1960. The plan calls for the removal of the old rink, the restoration of the naturalistic landscape around the lake and the addition of two new rinks that fit harmoniously within the newly restored Olmsted landscape.
In addition, the project includes the restoration of the lake’s original organic shoreline as well as the restoration of original ornamental retaining walls and ironwork; five new acres will be added to the size of the lake and three new acres of lawn will be added to the periphery. Part of the restoration will include “Music Island” a small island in the center of the lake where musicians serenaded the crowd along the shore.
The new skating rinks will be all-season facilities occupying a former parking lot. Two skating rinks will be used for ice skating in the winter. In the summer, the covered rink will be used for roller skating while the other one will become a water playground. Additional support space will be contained in a partially underground structure with a green roof that blends naturally into the historic landscape –and that is LEED certified.
The transformation of this corner of the Park will be truly dramatic. Hard edged concrete will be replaced by the soft, graceful contours of Olmsted and Vaux’s masterful design. A recreational facility that had reached the end of its useful life will be replaced by a state of the art facility for both winter and summer recreation and fun.
Lakeside is scheduled to fully reopen in October 2013.
We would like to thank the Prospect Park Alliance for the tour. A special thank you to our very hospitable hosts and tour guides Emily Lloyd, Prospect Park Administrator, Christian Zimmerman, Vice President for Design and Construction and Caledonia Kearns, Capital Campaign Manager.