The Prospect Park Alliance and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation announced a $10 million donation from the LeFrak family in support of Lakeside, the largest and most ambitious project in Prospect Park since the park opened in the late 19th century.
The facility will be named the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside in honor of the parents of LeFrak Organization CEO Richard LeFrak and his sisters.
The entire 26-acre project will open in December and have year-round programming at the Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center, including winter ice skating and summer roller skating and a water feature for children and families, combined with a restored landscape and vastly improved park access,
“The LeFrak family has a history of philanthropy in Brooklyn, and all of New York, and their generous gift to Lakeside — a place where families will enjoy a day outdoors, children will step out on to the ice for the very first time, and visitors can take in the beauty of Prospect Park from a new vantage point — will continue that legacy,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White.
“We are grateful for the support of the contributors to this enormous undertaking, in particular Mayor Bloomberg for his commitment to New York City’s parks.”
Prospect Park Alliance President Emily Lloyd added, “The LeFrak family’s deep roots in Brooklyn itself make this gift particularly fitting. Prospect Park already is a wonderful place for families to visit, but this contribution is further recognition of how much Lakeside will improve it. “Thanks to the public-private partnership that the Alliance has spearheaded, we are only one month away from opening what will soon be considered a community and city treasure.”
Denise LeFrak, on behalf of her sisters, Francine and Jacqueline, and her brother, Richard, and his wife, Karen, said, “Our family is proud to honor, through this gift, the memory of our parents, who would have surely embraced this magnificent Prospect Park redevelopment project that will bring so much joy and happiness to the people of Brooklyn.”
Designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA), the New York-based firm responsible for the American Folk Art Museum and the Barnes Foundation, Lakeside is a $74 million restoration and redesign of an underutilized section of the park.