The Tennis House In Prospect Park
The Park House In Bensonhurst Park (Geoffery Croft photo)
Park Slope and Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, N.Y.
The long-shuttered Prospect Park Tennis House is getting a $5.1 million facelift to revamp the dilapidated architectural gem. “It’s a much loved building that needs a lot of work,” said Christian Zimmerman, the vice president of capital and landscape management at the Prospect Park Alliance. “We would like it to be open to the public again, so the idea is to do a complete renovation.”
Today, the building is used as an office for park landscape management workers, and although run down, still maintains its architectural charms, including a vaulted ceiling, a colonnaded pavilion, and mosaic tile.
Borough President Eric Adams also kicked in $1 million from his office to restore the green’s Parkside Avenue perimeter, including reconstructing the sidewalk, new lighting, street furniture and planting new trees.
Apparently this is the city’s definition of “equality,” in the park system.A dangerous and decrepit park house in a Brooklyn park was finally closed by the city over the weekend after park employees complained and a media inquiry was made about the deplorable conditions, NYC Park Advocates has learned.
On Friday a dead rat greeted visitors at the entrance to the men’s room where users are forced to pass under a severely eroded ceiling on their way into in a putrid smelling bathroom room where an abundance of flies await as well as broken windows. On the outside rotten wood and nest make up the crumbling facade.
The charred remains of a fire were evident throughout the building. A burnt and partially melted fire EXIT sign hangs on the inside above the building’s entrance.
For years the city has been forcing its employees to work in a rat invested, crumbling park house building in Bensonhurst Park located Cropsey Avenue and Bay Parkway.
Its uncertain how many codes, safety and health violations exist in the building but apparently no one from the parks department management thought it was a concern.
The city’s initial response – the Park’s Department’s press office chastised a reporter for sending an inquiry at the end on a Friday.
The press office also represented that the section of the building where employees work out of was now was closed as multiple workers were seen entering the exiting the building.
“Its disgusting, It’s unbelievable,” said a park worker speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retribution.
“It’s a house of horrors in there, It’s scary,” another worker said.
This is a interesting way of preserving parkland and green space in an era of hieghtened proactive environmental awareness, especially in a mostly progressive thinking and enlightened borough like Brooklyn. Especially since the borough, and in niche areas in the other boroughs, have seen the appearance of green spaces and plazas and rooftop gardens and farming.
So why the monetary concern and treatment and the abandonment of them for these two park houses? Yet again, it’s all about location. Prospect Park is surrounded by luxury towers completed and currently developed, overvalued speculative property rates and two way bike lanes, Bensonhurst Park is surrounded by Bensonhurst, a town that is populated with working class families and individuals that doesn’t seem to be on the real estate industry radar or even of interest of leisure and style sections of the elite newspapers and fashion magazines (and the citizenry there probably don’t give a shit not to be included in such focus features). Also apparently, not on the parks department or borough president Eric Adams radar either.
Bensonhurst Park is also not near any major subway stops. Or inundated with hipsters for now.
It’s not the least bit or even at all cynical why or where city tax dollars are going to the tennis house by Park Slope, second hometown of Mayor De Faustio, and the Bensonhurst Park house gets put to pasture after years of criminal neglect and turning into a rat litter box. To think that a facility meant for humans, the city and the park’s dept. let it devolve to an environment suitable for rodents. To think that park workers were subjected to do their job there and citizens had to use those toilets. Where is the supposed concern about the environment in southeast Brooklyn?
It’s a real insult to the citizens of Bensonhurst that visit the park and an massive insult to taxpayers in general to let a facility decay, and an utter colossal failure of the parks dept and city hall, the former doing absolutely nothing and blatantly ignoring the blight and the latter who can’t see beyond the giant towers and corporate sponsors hogging territory when they have events in public spaces and parks. So much effort goes into the promoting of parks to encourage the citizenry to enjoy these free spaces but all it is just shallow marketing. Especially now that the existence of parks has been reduced to jack up the market rental rate by the Gentrification Industrial Complex by describing them as another “amenity”.
Well, the powers that be of this city should be happy they have one less abomination to deal with. Why should they since they didn’t even spend a penny to equip Bensonhurst park with a shit shovel, cleaning supplies or even a broom.
This should be a signifying cause of alarm concerning any other parks under gradual dilapidation or ones under construction. Or even any program that’s suppose to better the lives of everyone in this unfair city.