Skip to Main Content

Exhibition is on display in the Brooklyn Collection, 2nd floor.

150 years ago on October 19, 1867, a 585 acre urban oasis named Prospect Park opened in Brooklyn to overwhelming praise. The park was a longtime dream of Parks Commissioner James Stranahan, who envisioned that it "would become a favorite resort for all classes of our community, enabling thousands to enjoy pure air, with healthful exercise, at all seasons of the year."

To bring his dream to fruition, Stranahan hired renowned landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who transformed a swampy, rock-filled area into a scenic green space. With their help, Stranahan's vision came true, and more than 10 million yearly visitors from Brooklyn and around the world continue to enjoy the park today.

This year Prospect Park Alliance, the non-profit organization that sustains Prospect Park in partnership with New York City, is celebrating the 150th Anniversary of what has come to be known as Brooklyn's Backyard. In conjunction with that celebration, the Brooklyn Collection presents this exhibition of Prospect Park materials  -- highlights from the library's collection that explore this beautiful natural resource in the heart of Brooklyn and the many ways in which "all classes" of Brooklynites have used and continue to use it.

The Brooklyn Historical Society and Prospect Park Alliance are delighted to partner on a more extensive exhibition which will open at the Brooklyn Historical Society on July 12th. To learn more about upcoming events and ways to get involved, visit

Prospect Park Alliance is a nonprofit organization founded in 1987 to restore and maintain Prospect Park after a long period of steady deterioration and decline. The Alliance preserves the natural environment, restores historic design and provides public programs and amenities for the Park, which receives more than 10 million visits each year.

The Alliance plays a significant role in funding the operating budget that keeps the Park clean, safe and beautiful, and employs three-quarters of the staff that take care of the Park and engage its diverse surrounding communities. Today, Prospect Park is an international model for urban parks, and one of the premier green spaces in the United States.


To return to the Exhibitions Index page, please click here.

close navigation