Prospect Park to get new entrances, restoration along Flatbush Avenue

The northeastern perimeter of Prospect Park is getting a long-awaited makeover that will eventually include two new entrances, city officials announced Thursday.

The $2.4 million restoration of Flatbush Avenue, funded by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilmember Laurie Cumbo, officially began with a ceremonial groundbreaking near Grand Army Plaza.

Currently, the avenue’s cracked and uneven sidewalk has few functioning streetlights, sparse trees and a deteriorating iron fence along the park.

The restoration will expand the sidewalk from 20 feet to 30 feet wide, replace invasive plants with native trees, and install new fencing, lighting and benches. Construction is expected to be completed by the fall of this year, officials said.

Also Thursday, designs for two new park entrances along Flatbush Avenue were unveiled. Funded with $3.2 million from the parks department’s Parks Without Borders program, they will be added near the former Rose Garden and just north of the Prospect Park Zoo.

Construction of the new entrances, the first since the 1940s, is set to begin in the spring of 2019 and be completed a year later. They will feature new lighting, seating and landscaping, renderings from the Prospect Park Alliance show.

Prospect Park received the most votes in a citywide 2015-16 survey about which green space would benefit most from a redesign through Parks Without Borders, the parks department said.

“For many years, the people on this side of the park felt like Prospect Park did not reflect many of their desires,” Adams said.

In contrast to Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Park West, which borders Park Slope, has several park entrances and a low stone wall, as opposed to an iron fence.

Cumbo, who represents Crown Heights, Prospect Heights and other nearby neighborhoods, described walking down Flatbush Avenue as being in “a Michael Jackson thriller video where someone might jump out at me.”

With the restoration the street and the park will become safer and more accessible for the community, she said.

“It’s all about the entranceway. It’s all about the way people are greeted.”

The projects announced Tuesday are part of a larger goal to redevelop the northeast corner of the park, which includes transforming the former Rose Garden and restoring the woodlands, the Prospect Park Alliance said.

With Rajvi Desai