HistoryInitial plans to build a large park in Brooklyn date back to the early 1860's. However, the American Civil War temporarily delayed the design and construction of such a project in the rapidly growing city. Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted had the honour of designing a new green space in the heart of Brooklyn. Both of these distinguished landscape architects have gained widespread recognition for their superb work in NYC that inspired urban development nationwide. In fact, both men also designed the much larger Central Park in Manhattan. During the Great Depression, Robert Moses played a major role in expanding and transforming Prospect Park. Using federal and municipal funding, this brilliant urban planner added plenty of infrastructure to the park. Moses also called for the opening of the Prospect Park Zoo. For generations, the park has provided a tranquil refuge from the hustle and bustle of the Brooklyn.
Park Layout and FeaturesOpened in 1935, the Prospect Park Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the NYC metropolitan area. This sanctuary is home to more than 650 animals from over 150 species. The World of Animals and Animal Lifestyles museum are some of the zoo's main highlights. A stroll along the extensive network of the park's trails will surely lead to encounters with free-roaming creatures. For example, the Prospect Park Lake supports a diverse ecosystem of waterfowl and other small mammals. Occupying about 60 acres, it's actually the only remaining freshwater lake in Brooklyn. Built in the Neoclassical style in the early 20th century, the Boathouse on the Lullwater of the Lake is one of the most prominent landmarks in Prospect Park. As you explore the green grounds, you'll also see other interesting memorials, monuments and installations that have deep historic meanings. For example, the Lafayette memorial pays tribute to Marquis de la Fayette, the French general who actively led the American Revolution with George Washington. Dedicated in 1921, the War Memorial at the park honours the men and women who served in the United States during World War I. The Picnic House and Litchfield Villa also tend to catch the attention of visitors.
Visiting Prospect ParkHaving a total area of approximately 530 acres, Prospect Park defines the borders of several major neighbourhoods in Brooklyn. Lined with charming terraced homes, Park Slope is a primarily residential district that marks some of the boundaries of this large green space. The northern tip of the park is defined by Grand Army Plaza, which includes the iconic Soldiers' and Sailors' Arch and other commemorative installations. This famous plaza has an NYC subway station that's situated along the 2 and 3 lines. Other subway stops that are located at the flanks of Prospect Park include 15 St-Prospect Park, Parkside Avenue and Eastern Parkway Brooklyn Museum. Several buses that are operated by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) also encircle the busy avenues and streets around the park. For example, you can easily hop on or off a bus on Flatbush Avenue, which cuts right through the heart of the Botanic Garden. Car parking on the actual park's grounds is limited, but you might find some space in adjacent neighbourhoods, such as Windsor Terrace and Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
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