PARKS & RECREATION ANNOUNCES MAY PARK OF THE MONTH
Wednesday, May 4, 2005
Brooklyn’s Fulton Park is May’s Park of the Month. Brooklyn is replete with green spaces both big and small, from the 526-acre Prospect Park to dozens of playgrounds and sitting areas smaller than a quarter-acre. In between are hundreds of little-known properties that offer unique sights and activities for residents lucky enough to have found them. Fulton Park’s 1.987 acres are located between Fulton Street, Chauncey Street, Stuyvesant Street, and Lewis Avenue directly south of the Stuyvesant Heights district of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood.
"Fulton Park is one of Brooklyn’s little known oases," said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "It is a true haven for the Bedford-Stuyvesant community, an outlet where people can come to sit, read, lunch, and enjoy neighborhood festivals.
At the request of Brooklyn Borough President J.E. Swanstrom, the Board of Estimate resolved to set aside land for a public park along Fulton Street in 1902. The City of New York acquired the land for Parks by condemnation in 1904 at a cost of $308,174.16. Improvements to the park were still underway when the comfort station opened in 1910. The firm of Helmle and Huberty, architects of buildings in Prospect and McGolrick Parks, designed the colonnaded pavilion.
In 1930 a statue depicting Robert Fulton and the Nassau was erected in the park. Created in 1872 by Bohemian artist Caspar Buberl, this statue formerly stood in a niche in the Fulton Ferry House on the Brooklyn waterfront. It was salvaged from the old ferry house, moved to Fulton Park, and dedicated by the Society of Old Brooklynites. Endangered by erosion and faulty seams, the zinc statue was removed, restored, and re-erected in the park by 1935. Further damage required the replacement of the original statue with a new bronze casting on a granite base in 1955.
The park’s namesake, Robert Fulton, (1765-1815), was a brilliant painter, engineer, and inventor, who is best known for launching the first commercially successful steamboat.
Parks & Recreation’s newest website feature, Park of the Month, introduces some of these "secret gardens" to curious New Yorkers and visitors alike. A link to the highlighted park is available on Parks’ website, www.nyc.gov/parks, and the dedicated page includes panoramic and still photos, an interactive map, historical and press information, and links to capital projects and inspections.