The design process for the revamping of Fort Greene’s Cuyler Gore Park began Tuesday night with a virtual community input meeting run by the NYC Parks Department

The meeting was used to collect ideas for the park’s new design — plans for which will be finalized over the next six months or so.

Cuyler Gore Park. Photo: NYC Parks Department

Much of the night’s discussion centered on whether the new design should include a dog run, despite Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Martin Maher stating early on it was unlikely due to the park’s abundance of trees, as well as its location above the C train. 

Many community members pointed to the large number of dogs in the neighborhood, as well as the crowds at nearby Fort Greene Park, as evidence a dog run was needed. Others were unconvinced, expressing the need to maintain the park’s existing flow.

Community members said drainage issues in the park needed to be addressed, having caused the unwelcome presence of mosquitoes.  Other improvements discussed included starting programming such as food stands and flea markets, as well as the addition of cafe tables, misting posts and proper lighting.

Tuesday’s community input meeting was the first step in the lengthy renovation process. 

Over the next six months the parks department will develop a schematic design plan and bring it before Community Board 2’s Parks Committee as well as the Public Design Commission for approval. From there, the project will go into the procurement process, where they will review bids and select contractors for the project. Following approval from the city comptroller, the roughly year-long construction process will commence.

Project timeline. Photo: NYC Parks Department

Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo told those at the meeting she was incredibly excited about the project. “I did not ever think in a million years that I would be able to secure the funding to do this particular park.”

The park, which was named for prominent local minister Theodore Cuyler in 1901, is bordered by Fulton Street to the south, and Carlton and Greene Avenues to the north and west. A “gore” is a small triangular park and Cuyler is one of several in Brooklyn. 

Cumbo noted the park’s personal significance due to her being a former student of Brooklyn Technical High School. “Hanging out at this park and going there for the Juneteenth celebrations as well as the Soul Summit parties,” were among the reasons she said she felt connected to Cuyler Gore Park.

Maher lauded Cumbo’s efforts in securing the funding for the project. “I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been here for 36 years, it is not easy to get $5.6 million for a single project ever, but particularly during the crisis that we are in,” he said.

To share thoughts or suggestions for the redesign of Cuyler Gore Park, input is being accepted at bkspecialevents@parks.nyc.gov.

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Jackson Ferrari Ibelle

Jackson Ferrari Ibelle is a Providence, RI native who has lived in Crown Heights since 2019. He is a Northeastern University graduate and splits his time between writing for BK Reader and working as a...

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