Through the Community Parks Initiative — a citywide program to improve under-funded parks in densely populated and growing neighborhoods with higher concentrations of poverty — $4.5 million was allocated for Bensonhurst’s Lt. Joseph Petrosino Park last October and now renderings have been released illustrating the promised changes.
The funding, which was announced at a press conference at Gravesend’s Lafayette Playground, will go towards bringing the chronically messy park new basketball courts, fitness and playground equipment and more — features that locals and Community Board 11 were highly supportive of, according to the Brooklyn Reporter.
Through the initiative, Gravesend’s Lafayette Playground and Bergen Beach Playground have also been awarded millions for a revamp, a move local politicians advocated for and applauded.
Lt. Joseph Petrosino Park — a heavily utilized play space on New Utrecht Avenue — hasn’t seen any improvement since 1993, when it underwent a $700,000 renovation on its handball courts, basketball courts, and playground.
Interdisciplinary architecture firm DLANDstudio, in collaboration with NYC Parks, is responsible for the redesign. The studio is currently involved in a host of other Brooklyn parks-related projects as well, including Gowanus’ Canal Sponge Park and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway Trench in addition to a variety of residential garden projects throughout the borough.
The trapezoid-shaped Lt. Joseph Petrosino Park has been in use as a public playground since 1935, when it opened as Satellite Park. In 1999 the park was renamed for New York’s first Italian-American police detective, Lieutenant Giuseppe Petrosino, who, at five foot three inches, was also the force’s shortest officer when he joined in 1883. Petrosino was the only New York police officer to have been killed in the line of duty outside U.S. borders when he was assassinated in Italiy in 1909, according to the profile of a second park named in his honor in Manhattan.