In 1899, Dean Alvord purchased a 50-acre tract of Brooklyn farmland to develop a new neighborhood, Prospect Park South. He envisioned this community as “rus in urbe,” the country in the city.

Crucial to cultivating this rural atmosphere were the Flatbush Malls, a series of grass medians along Albemarle Road; these were to be communal oases for the neighborhood’s residents. Yet for most of their existence the malls have sat unused, simply becoming eye-pleasing ornamentation for car passengers to glance at while whizzing by.

A group of picnickers gathered at the Flatbush Malls. Photos: Caleb Miller/Brooklyn Eagle In 1899, Dean Alvord purchased a 50-acre tract of Brooklyn farmland to develop a new neighborhood, Prospect Park South. He envisioned this community as “rus in urbe,” the country in the city. Crucial to cultivating this […]

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