NYC unveils design plans for $8.9M revamp of Grand Army Plaza

The city on Friday unveiled design plans for a nearly $9 million makeover of Brooklyn’s famed Grand Army Plaza.

The restoration project — which the city has partnered on with the nonprofit Prospect Park Alliance — includes refurbishing the iconic Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch at the edge of Brooklyn’s backyard.

“Grand Army Plaza is an iconic Brooklyn destination, welcoming New Yorkers and visitors from across the world to the beautiful Prospect Park,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “The restoration of the arch and surrounding landscape will ensure the plaza is magnificent for generations to come.”

The $8.9 million renovation includes the replacement of the roof of the nearly 130-year-old Civil War memorial arch and the cleaning and repointing of the brick and stone structure.

The historic iron staircases that lead up to the roof will be repaired and the arch will be outfitted with exterior lighting fixtures.

Additionally, the project entails the restoration of the surrounding plaza and landscaped berms that frame the plaza on its east, west and north sides.

Invasive vines, trees and shrubs that are in poor condition will be removed and mostly native trees and shrubs will be planted.

Construction is slated to begin on the project in between late 2021 and early 2022, and is expected to be completed in 2023, a City Hall spokesperson said.

Grand Army Plaza was designed by park creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as the grand formal entrance of Prospect Park at the time of its construction in 1867.

The plaza in 1889 became the site of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch, which was dedicated in 1892 to commemorate those who fought with the Union troops.

The arch, fashioned after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, was landmarked in 1975 when the structure was in severe disrepair.

“Grand Army Plaza has long been a central hub in Brooklyn, but in these past few months it has become even more beloved so as New Yorkers flocked to the park for socially-distant recreation and socializing, and gathered for demonstrations for racial justice,” city Councilman Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn) said, adding, that he’s “looking forward” to see the arch and plaza “restored to their full splendor.”

Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks

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