Brooklyn’s oldest park set to get major upgrades after years of waiting

Brooklyn

BROOKLYN — City officials unveiled a multi-million dollar design project Tuesday to bring Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park into the 21st century, after neighbors continuously said the park wasn’t up to par.

It’s Brooklyn’s oldest park which has often been overlooked and ignored, according to New York State Attorney General Letitia James, but it will soon get a makeover worth $11.47 million dollars.  

“We’re going to renovate this beautiful park and we’re going to make it the jewel of Downtown Brooklyn,” she said.

Not one but two reconstruction projects are now in the works to modernize it. New York City Parks Department Commissioner Mitchell Silver said the goal is to make it equitable for all New Yorkers.

“These planned projects reflect our commitment to improving the quality and accessibility of our city’s neighborhood parks,” Silver said.

Surrounding the park are the Furragut and Whitman Houses; James said she remembers the concerns she heard from those residents dating back to her city council days.

“They said, ‘Councilmember, we cannot play at night,’” James said. “T’here are no lights in Commodore Barry Park. Could you please fund the lights?'”

Not only will they finally be getting sports lights, but also new baseball and football fields.

“Even these pathways with these high fences are going to be reimagined so people feel the sense of openness with this very large park,” Silver said.

The second planned project hasn’t secured funding yet, but it will eventually fully reconstruct the playground, basketball courts, a brand-new lawn, and much more.

Parkgoers, like 10-year-old Leilani Johnson and her younger siblings, have fond memories at the park, and she believes the improvements will bring happiness to more children. 

“They’re going to have a better park to play in,” Johnson said. “They’re going to make the same memories I did with their family.”

Construction for Phase 1 is planned for 2023, with the completion expected one year later.

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