Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

Prospect Park is a 585-acre urban oasis located in the heart of Brooklyn, New York City’s most populous borough. It is a masterpiece of design by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park, in Manhattan. Constructed over a thirty-year period (1865-1895) it contains Brooklyn’s only forest, along with a complex natural water system, rolling meadows, shaded hillsides and many attractions.

There are many interesting statues in the park, this one of Abraham Lincoln, scuplted by Henry Kirke Brown (1814 - 1886), is my favorite. It watches over the Prospect Park Concert Grove area, which contains an impressive array of sculpture busts, including composers Mozart, Beethoven, Grieg, and Von Weber, as well as the poet Thomas Moore.

This bust of the great composer Beethoven was sculpted by Henry Baerer in 1894

A poignant World War I monument, sculpted by Augustus Lukeman. It was dedicated in 1921 in memory of soldiers from Brooklyn killed during that war.

This 1905 Beaux Arts structure was inspired by the architecture of a 16th century Venetian library. It was originally used as the park's boathouse but now is the park's Welcome Center and also the first urban-area Audubon Center in the nation!

Part of the beautiful tiled interior of the Audubon Center and some of the exhibits which allow visitors to explore the world of nature.

Pedal boats may be rented, and there are also electric boat rides that can be taken that float along the area called the Lullwater; a placid waterway that meanders through shady woodlands and under historic bridges in the park.

After gliding gently along, you’ll emerge into the wide open vista of the park’s beautiful 60-acre lake.

It is wonderful to sit by the lake in rustic benches such as these and look out to peaceful vistas such as this.........

..........and this!

It will be especially lovely when the trees take on autumn color in another few weeks.

A man was playing a hauntingly beautiful melody on his saxophone in a walkway under an overpass bridge. The acoustics were of concert hall quality!

There are many shady paths to walk along in the park.

A beautifully ornate Victorian flower planter in the park.

This is the Oriental Pavilion, which features a stained-glass cupola and medieval, Hindu-inspired columns. It was damaged in a fire and extensively restored in 1987. Visitors now relax under the shade of its canopy.

The Prospect Park Zoo is within the park and
is operated by the Wildlife Conservation Society, known throughout the world for its innovative ways of caring for animals while increasing visitor interaction. It is home to nearly 400 animals of more than 80 species!

The park's carousel was carved in 1912 by Charles Carmel, one of the foremost carousel designers of the time, and restored by the Prospect Park Alliance in 1990.

The carousel features 51 magnificently carved horses, a lion, a giraffe, a deer, and two dragon-pulled chariots. I remember riding it when I was a child, and my children rode it when they were young. I look forward to introducing it to my grandson someday!

Prospect Park is home to over 30,000 trees. Among them are several of New York's oldest and most magnificent specimens. The tree above is a Japanese Red Pine.

Can you spot what was sitting in this tree adjacent to a road that passes through the park?

It was a majestic red tailed hawk! He sat on this limb very steadily for a long time, watching the people who were gathering around to watch him!

He created quite a commotion as children on bicycles, jogger, walkers, the police, and even a firetruck on their way back to their station stopped to see him!

Prospect Park is a wonderful green oasis of beauty in Brooklyn, and truly as worthy of a visit as Central Park! It us surrounded by diverse neighborhoods and enjoyed equally by all. It was also the location of a large portion of the American Revolutionary War's "Battle Of Brooklyn," and I showed many of the significant sites of that battle that are in the park in this series of blog posts.


I am happy to link this post to Susan's blog A Southern Daydreamer weekly "Outdoor Wednesday" event. Please visit Susan's blog today to see links to other blogs participating today with wonderful outdoor pleasures.

33 comments:

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Isn't that park gorgeous?! I only went for the first time a few years ago. I drove past in many, many times on family trips from Brooklyn to Staten Island and vice versa. So many of my friends moved to the area when they started having families (it really is a super family friendly neighborhood). My mom grew up around there and remembers riding the carousel…she still talks about her great memories of being a kid there.

That hawk is incredible! I can’t believe he sat still for his “photo op” – and I love that he even able to unite the FDNY and NYPD. ;-)

Fifi Flowers said...

What a beautiful park!!! Thanks for sharing! I will have to visit some day! I've been to the Cloisters and Central Park but no to this park... hmmmm... now to get a trip East!

Riet said...

What a beautiful park and your photo's are the best. Thank you for taking us along on your tour,
Have a nice day

Jackie said...

Even if I do not make it to NY next year I will have been walking in this park with you!! I love the photograph of the red tailed hawk!Jackie.

Tracy said...

What a very special and beautiful park! I love all the old there, the history, all the beautiful corners, flora and fauna...I enjoyed this walk with you so much, Pat! I too love that Lincoln sculpture... And the hawk is amazing close up! Happy Day, my friend :o) ((HUGS))

mbkatc230 said...

What a beautiful grand tour! I don't think people realize what amazing green spaces there are in New York. That bench looks like the perfect place to relax and unwind. And the hawk - what an amazing sight. I hope he wasn't playing hooky from the Audubon center. Kathy

Rachael said...

What a beautiful place right there in Brooklyn! I love all the trees, I bet it would be a great place for a picnic. Oh, and the red-tailed hawk...he is so handsome, how neat that you were able to get a picture of him!!

Thanks for the tour :-)

Kammy said...

Beautiful park - I love all the old statues....one day I wouldlove to visit - so very cool. Thanks for the pictures !
Kammy

Ciao Chow Linda said...

In some of those scenes of Prospect Park, you'd swear you were in the wilderness somewhere. A truly magnificent place - and that hawk, wow what a shot you got.

Jenny said...

Gprgeous, gorgeous park. I want to visit there now. I was actually unaware of this park. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!

Gracie said...

It doesn't even seem to be in a big city like NY!

Claudia said...

Oh what sweet memories - I haven't been in that Park in twenty-five years - but you brought it all back. A true oasis. Don't you just love the hawks? They're everywhere here - looking for mice and chipmunks (sorry, rodents!)

Karen at Nittany Inspirations said...

This park is beautiful. It is all the more special because it's in a major city.

Mary said...

What wonderful photos. It is a beautiful park. Thank you for the tour and sharing your photos with us. I hope you are having a wonderful day.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I'm taking notes...maybe one day I will visit all of your recommended points of interest in New York City. Thanks for being our tour guide.

Ms. Bake-it said...

What a fabulous park! The next time I am in NY, I will make a point to visit it. Great shot of the hawk!

Thank you so much for taking us along on your tour.

~ Tracy

Beverly said...

Wow, I would never have guessed there was such a spot in Brooklyn. And, it is magnificent.

That red pine is awesome. And, so is the hawk.

g.suzie said...

Awesome pictures, thank-you for posting them today, hope you have a wonderful Outdoor Wednesday!

Karen said...

What a great place to spend time. All your photos are just wonderful.

jeanne said...

Hi Pat, the park is so pretty and I love the statue of Abe Lincoln. The history of the Park and a product of Olmsted. It can't miss. He was a genius with his outdoor master of nature.

I mailed your gift Pat. It will take five days or so. I hope it arrives in good condition.

Thank you for yet another wonderful post.

Hugs xoxo, Jeanne

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Another beautiful post, Pat!!!

Just a little something from Judy said...

I feel like you gave me a walking tour of a park that I have never visited before. Thank you! I have been to Central Park and thought that was a lovely park. Now I would like to visit the Prospect Park too. Your photography is wonderful!

Jeanne Selep said...

Great blog - I get to travel all over on Wednesday and see parts of the country I can't visit. Thank you for all the photos.

curtissannmatlock said...

I sooo enjoyed the tour! What a beautiful, beautiful place. I think of the creativity and heart of those who built the park, and who keep it keeping on. I would very much like to see it.

jeanne said...

Pat, on Friday I am posting my Aunt's antique buttons. I am not sure if she has a website. Her collection is vast and she does shows everywhere. It is not unusual for her to buy a collection for as much as $10,000. Her buttons are always vintage and amazing. Always very old. Do you collect buttons?

Hugs...Jeanne

Juliana said...

Wow, great pictures...love them all and all the writing about it...it is always a pleasure to read and see the pictures that you post. The picture of the hawk is so neat :-)

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Wow... what an awesome post!

I love my blog -- but I get exhausted putting pictures up... and you have tons!! wow!

You had a great trip and thanks so much for sharing with all of us.

I am posting to go revisit.

If you get a chance please stop by and say hi!

TTFN~~Claudia ♥ ♥

Lisa said...

Finally I can say, I've been there, I've been there..several; times! You captured every nook and cranny of it beautifully, and the photos are excuisite!

On another note, I hope you take part in the Nov DB challenge, because I'm hosting and I KNOW you'll love it..it's right up your alley :)

Finally, how 'bout our Yanks? I'm praying for a Yankee-Sox ALCS! I hate that we have to face Detroit in the first round, though. Their pitching, esp Verlander, always stifles our bats.

Lucy said...

Beautiful park! NYC really has some neat places to see. Thanks.

Tara said...

Hi Pat

Wow, here is my parent's old stomping ground! Did you see House Beautiful last month? It had a renovation of a Park Slope townhouse so similar to my family's and typical of Park Slope. You know, I have never been here and did not realize in many ways it replicates Central Park!

Regina said...

Beautiful shots. Thanks for sharing.

Melanie said...

What a wonderful park. Great photo of the red tailed hawk. We don't have them here.

Tracy @ Comfort and Luxury said...

Love this post. Gorgeous parks full of architectural gems is not what first comes to mind when one thinks of NYC. You make we want to get out more and explore the gems in my own neighborhood though I'm afraid I won't find anything quite as wonderful as Prospect Park.