FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR NEW LAKESIDE CENTER AT PROSPECT PARK
New Center Will Feature Two Ice Skating Rinks
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced plans for a new Lakeside Center recreation facility in Prospect Park that will feature two new outdoor ice rinks. The architectural firm Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects LLP has been selected to design the new 38,000-square-foot building and the ice rinks that will total 35,000-square-feet. The new building will be located adjacent to Prospect Park's existing rink on a site that is currently a parking lot. The landscape for the new facility will be designed by landscape architect Christian Zimmerman of the Prospect Park Alliance. Upon completion of the new building, the old rink will be demolished and the area restored to reflect Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's original landscape designs for the site. The Office of the Mayor, the Speaker with the City Council, and the Brooklyn Borough President have each committed $7.5 million toward the Prospect Park Alliance's $39 million fundraising campaign for the project. Close to $1 million in federal funding was secured for the project by Congressman Anthony Weiner and former Congressman Major Owens.
"Prospect Park is literally and figuratively in the heart of Brooklyn and when the new Lakeside Center is built, New Yorkers will have a state-of-the-art place to enjoy the winter months," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This new facility is another great investment in our Park system and will make sure Prospect Park stays a premier destination, not just in Brooklyn, but in all of New York City. I would also like to thank the Prospect Park Alliance, our partner in restoring, developing and managing Prospect Park for over 20 years."
"New York City's parks are one of its most valuable commodities, attracting tourism and raising the quality of life for all of our residents," said Speaker Christine C. Quinn. "The Council is proud to have provided funding for the new Lakeside Center, which will provide fun and affordable recreation for families here in Brooklyn and in all five boroughs. I want to thank Council Members Bill deBlasio, David Yassky, Leticia James and Erik Martin Dilan, for their leadership in supporting the needs of Prospect Park and its surrounding communities."
"Prospect Park is one of New York City's natural treasures, and by replacing the old rink with a new one, we're ensuring that it can continue to be one of Brooklyn's most popular spots for recreation and family fun," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "I am thrilled to support the Lakeside Center project, which will keep Brooklynites gliding, sliding, and creating their own personal Ice Capades on two rinks all winter long."
"With the new Lakeside Center at Prospect Park, New Yorkers will double their fun on two ice skating rinks," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "The new center is the latest in a long series of major new parks and recreation facilities to be started during Administration of Mayor Bloomberg. Thanks to generous funding from elected officials, a spirited fundraising campaign from our partners in the Prospect Park Alliance, and a supremely talented creative team, we look forward to building an innovative year-round structure. This new sports and education complex will introduce generations of children to the joys of skating and to lifetimes of fitness and health."
The new Lakeside Center will be open year-round and offer visitors a café, gift shop, lockers, space for skate rental facilities, and space for educational programming. In warm weather months the two skating rinks will also be used for other seasonal outdoor activities with an area for pedal boat rentals on the nearby lake. Currently the rink is open each year from November to March. Even though operation of the present ice rink (built in 1961) and its 15,000 square foot building is hampered by outdated equipment, it still serves more than 100,000 visitors each winter season and is the only outdoor ice skating rink in Brooklyn. The architects and their firm have won numerous awards and accolades for a growing list of projects around the world including the American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan. Among the projects they are currently designing are the Lincoln Center Harmony Atrium, a corporate campus in Mumbai, and a museum in Hong Kong.
"We are deeply honored to be chosen by the Prospect Park Alliance as the architects for the new skating rinks for Prospect Park," said architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien. "It is a gift and a responsibility to work in Olmsted and Vaux's beautiful campus. We hope to make a place that works both as a sports facility and as a place for pleasure, where proficiency and poetry meet."
"Thanks to the support from the good friends of the Park with us today, the much-loved but well-worn old rink can now be replaced by a new, architecturally significant facility and landscape design program that enhances the Park's natural environment," said Henry Christensen III, Chairman of the Prospect Park Alliance.
Construction of the Lakeside Center is expected to begin in 2008 and continue through 2010. The new building will conform to the Silver Certificate LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards of the U.S. Green Building Council. The Mayor was joined at the announcement by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz; Congress Member Yvette Clarke; Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe; Prospect Park Alliance Chairman Henry Christensen III; Prospect Park Alliance President Tupper Thomas; and children from Brooklyn Ice, a free after school skating program. Over the last two decades, the Prospect Park Alliance has raised millions to restore, develop and manage Prospect Park in coordination with the City. By supplementing the park's basic operating budget with private funds, the Alliance has initiated a large array of capital projects and community programs including the Audubon Center and the Prospect Park Tennis Center. For more information on hours of operation, park events, programs and volunteer opportunities, call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/parks.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Warner Johnston (Parks & Recreation)
Eugene Patron (Prospect Park Alliance) (718) 965-8954