Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Washington Ave., Flatbush Ave. bet. Eastern Pkwy. and Empire Blvd.


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Originally a marshy wasteland, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden has been transformed into one of New York City’s most beautiful parks. The Wisconsin Iceberg that shaped Long Island, Manhattan, and the Bronx millions of years ago gave this land its unique knob-and-kettle terrain of small ponds and hills by carving depressions in the soil.

Brothers Frederick Jr. and John Charles Olmsted (sons of Prospect and Central Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted) designed the original Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The present garden is largely the product of Harold Caparn, the landscape architect who took charge of the project in 1912. Caparn saw the garden as an artistic and educational facility. Borrowing a page from nature, he let the Brooklyn Botanic Garden organically grow over the course of decades, adding sections as he could and refurbishing others when needed, until it included over 13 separate gardens, buildings and museums when he left it in 1945.

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