TLC Sculpture Park
The Transitional Living Community (TLC) at the Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service Women's Shelter, founded in 1989, has added color and life to the neighborhood through the construction of this sculpture park. The project was conceived as an extension of TLC's art therapy program; TLC finds housing for individuals in need and provides therapeutic activities for them, including sculpture art and gardening. TLC clients maintain the various plant species in the park, and have included sculptures to provide additional adornment to the landscape.
This park is located in the East New York section of Brooklyn. To the Dutch settlers who first laid out village streets in East New York, this area was known as Ostwout (“east woods”). The area remained primarily rural until 1835, when John Pitkin, a merchant from Connecticut, bought the Ostwout land north of New Lots Avenue and named it East New York: a marketing effort to suggest a connection with the metropolis to the west. The opening of the Williamsburg Bridge in 1903 and the IRT (Interborough Rapid Transit) in 1922 both increased access to this area, attracting an influx of immigrants to East New York that continued into the 1940s. After World War II, many East New York properties were abandoned and neglected, leading to decades of decline. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, community-based organizations gained support for local redevelopment, leading to the construction of public and private housing, and increased commercial investment. Local initiatives, such as the creation of community gardens, have contributed to the revitalization of the area.
TLC Sculpture Garden, located at the corner of Glenmore Avenue and Hinsdale Street. was once a neglected lot, but in May 1997, a group of neighborhood volunteers with the help of Parks GreenThumb program converted it into a living garden. On July 28, 1998, the Department of City Administrative services officially transferred the site to Parks.
The garden contains apple (Malus pumila), pear (Pyrus communis), and fig (Ficus carica) trees, as well as a variety of vegetables. Among the numerous flower varieties are aster (Aster), hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis), hollyhock (Alcea rosea), and snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus). The park also features a carousel horse, painted by TLC, which was donated by the nearby Fabricon Carousel Company, the only manufacturer of carousels in New York City.