Prospect Park’s Vale to undergo $40M restoration
Rendering of the Sensory Garden and Rustic Arbor. Image courtesy of Prospect Park Alliance
On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the allocation of $40 million to restore Prospect Park’s Vale. This funding is the largest in the history of Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that manages the park. The Vale, also known as the “Vale of Cashmere,” is a 26-acre portion of the park’s northeast corner known for its breathtaking foliage.
Rendering of the Amphitheater and Community Building. Image courtesy of Prospect Park Alliance
The restoration focuses on two iconic landmarks in the Vale, the former Rose Garden, and the Children’s Pool.
Working together with Hester Street and Grain Collective, Prospect Park Alliance’s vision of the new garden includes an amphitheater, community building, sensory garden, and rustic arbor, all of which utilize the area’s lush greenery.
“Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s backyard,” de Blasio said. “It’s where I got married and raised my family, and where New Yorkers of all backgrounds come to spend time in nature. This historic $40 million in funding will ensure the Vale is restored to its full glory.”
The Rose Garden has been a part of the park since it opened in 1867, serving different purposes over the years. In 1911, the garden fell into disarray after the creation of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Due to the overgrown and secluded location of the garden, the area has been neglected.
The Children’s Pool, once renowned for its abundant plant life, has also been left uncared for. This portion of the Vale once held a pond where children would sailboats amongst the dense vegetation. Lights and benches were added in the 1960s, but since then the area has been untouched.
Rendering of the Children’s Pool. Image courtesy of Prospect Park Alliance
Prospect Park Alliance’s restoration effort of the Vale honors the legacy of the park’s original designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who aimed to enrich New Yorkers through the natural beauty of the landscape.
Map of the new Vale. Image courtesy of Prospect Park Alliance
“Prospect Park Alliance was founded over 30 years ago to sustain, restore and advance the park for the entire Brooklyn community,” Sue Donoghue, president of Prospect Park Alliance, said. “Today, through this historic funding allocation from the Mayor, we will be able to realize the community’s vision for the 26 acres in the northeast corner of the park.”
Design for the new Vale is set to begin in early 2022 with expected completion in 2026. The project is part of a wider initiative to restore Prospect Park, including the reopened Endale Arch, revamping of Grand Army Plaza, and restoration of the Vale’s woodlands and paths.
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Images courtesy of Prospect Park Alliance