Parks & Recreation Breaks Ground At McLaughlin Park
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe was joined today by City Council Member Letitia James, Brooklyn Borough President Representative Elizabeth Ernish, Chair of the Community Board 2 Parks Committee Joan Thorne-Manning, Daryl Barlow of Tillary Hoops, Vanette Jones of the Tillary Park Foundation, and members of the varsity baseball team from the Brooklyn Friends School to break ground on the reconstruction of McLaughlin Park in Downtown Brooklyn. Funding for the $3.005 million project was allocated by Mayor Bloomberg and Council Member James.
"New York City’s youth deserve the best athletic facilities, and following this renovation, that’s exactly what McLaughlin Park will have," said Commissioner Benepe. "We are replacing old, deteriorated and unfriendly asphalt yards with a new synthetic turf field for softball and soccer, and reconstructing basketball courts, handball courts, and exercise equipment to allow our young people to fully realize their athletic potential. I am grateful to Mayor Bloomberg and Council Member James for generously allocating over $3 million to make these improvements a reality."
The new park design includes two basketball courts with bleachers and recreational lighting, a reconstructed handball court, areas designated for exercise equipment, a spray shower with a steamboat theme, and a synthetic turf multi-purpose area for softball and soccer. In addition, the reconstruction includes new benches, fencing, drinking fountains, and a variety of plants, trees and shrubs.
The renovations at McLaughlin Park are proceeding at a rapid pace. Work began in April and was originally scheduled for completion in April 2007. However, thanks to the efficient work of William A. Gross Construction Associates, the reconstruction is now scheduled to be complete by the end of the fall.
This park is named for Hugh McLaughlin, Jr. (1823-1904), a local civic leader with tremendous influence in Brooklyn politics. He served three terms as the Registrar of Kings County and was a vigorous opponent of Tammany Hall and the incorporation of the City of Brooklyn into the City of New York. McLaughlin Park was acquired by condemnation in 1884 and named for McLaughlin, one year after his death, in 1905.