Sunset Park

SunsetPark_feature_MarieWarsh_2011.jpg
Brooklyn, NY
United States
Sunset Park

Sited on the second highest point in Brooklyn, this 25-acre park is defined by its hill both spatially and in name, which it shares with the surrounding Sunset Park neighborhood. The rectangular park was developed beginning in 1891 under the supervision of Samuel Parsons Jr. to serve the growing community of largely Scandinavian and Irish immigrants. On the west side sloping lawns, a large plateau and meandering paths direct the view toward Brooklyn, the Manhattan skyline, New York Harbor, and the hills of Staten Island and New Jersey beyond. Early 20th century park features included a small lake, a six-hole golf course, a large neoclassical shelter and a carousel. In 1935 the park was redesigned by the Robert Moses administration to accommodate a large public swimming pool on the east side of the park, one of eleven that were built throughout the city at this time. The pool and bathhouse were designed by Herbert Magoon in an Art Moderne style. Landscape architect Gilmore Clarke was involved in redesigning the park’s landscape, which is largely intact today and includes a thick perimeter of deciduous and evergreen trees. The park continues to be well-used by new generations of immigrants who live in the neighborhood, mostly Latin-American and Chinese, for soccer games, picnics, and watching sunset views. The pool complex is a signature extant example of park design from the Moses Era and was made a New York City landmark in 2007. The park is a component of the Sunset Park Historic District, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1988.