Phase I & II: 2020
Public Restrooms: 2021
BETSY HEAD PARK
This multi-phase, $30-million project re-imagines the two diagonally located parcels that constitute Betsy Head Park to create a cohesive, inclusive, and multi-generational park in the heart of Brownsville. Each site design responds to its specific context while preserving large trees and incorporating unique program derived from community-driven workshops and neighborhood planning efforts. A dynamic parkour teen fitness course and an inclusionary self-competitive basketball course for those with physical and mental disabilities are both the first-ever constructed in New York City. The Mayor’s office chose this large 10.5-acre Brownsville park as part of a $150-million-dollar investment to provide transformative capital improvements to five large, regional parks across each of the NYC boroughs. As part of the Mayor’s initiative, ABB led a team of consultants to create a project vision that both upgrades infrastructure and accommodates a transformative, versatile balance of active and passive programming.
The design vocabulary of the northern parcel complements the existing Imagination Playground, incorporating curvilinear, sweeping pathways and a large urban skate park with sculptural geometries. A multi-purpose event space with amphitheater-style seating accommodates small community events such as farmer’s markets and serves as an outdoor classroom for adjacent schools. A critical objective for the southern parcel is to accommodate a varied assortment of athletic programming to give the community a wide range of opportunities to improve their health. The large multi-sport synthetic turf field accommodates five sports and provides a 4-lane recreational running track for cardiovascular exercise to complement strength training at several outdoor fitness stations. The project repurposes a former handball wall as a traverse wall and creates new, welcoming entrances that were at one time blocked by large concrete bleachers. A public restroom on the southwest corner of the site is being completely reconstructed to serve park users.
Photo Credit: Pavel Bendov