Central Brooklyn

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Breaks Ground On New Overlook

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CROWN HEIGHTS/PROSPECT HEIGHTS – The Brooklyn Botanic Garden hosted a ground-breaking on Wednesday morning for the new Robert W. Wilson Overlook that will offer visitors expansive views above the Garden’s Cherry Esplanade when it debuts in Summer 2019.

Ground-breaking event for Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Robert W. Wilson Overlook—L-R: Rob Feidelson, Ron Zimmerman, Richard Schneidman, Trustees of Robert W. Wilson Trust; Diane Steinberg, Board Chair of Brooklyn Botanic Garden; Scot Medbury, President of Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

Architectural firm Weiss/Manfredi will design the 1.25-acre site which will be “reimagined, reconstructed, and replanted in its entirety” to create an immersive landscape.

While the Overlook space currently offers sweeping views of the Garden, it lacks easy access down to the Cherry Esplanade. The new Overlook will feature a switchback pathway with sculptural retaining walls that connect the top and bottom of the Overlook hillside while improving circulation in one of the Garden’s most heavily trafficked areas. The new pathway will also offer gathering spaces and new vantage points.

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A view from the top of the Overlook hillside (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

The project is being funded as part of the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust’s $10 million commitment to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Campaign for the Next Century. “Bob loved the beauty of Brooklyn Botanic Garden and its renowned horticultural collections. He was a visionary who was deeply committed to both innovative design and the natural environment,” said Richard Schneidman, trustee of the Robert W. Wilson Charitable Trust.

The Robert W. Wilson Overlook, which will provide one of the most stunning vistas in New York City, is a wonderful way of honoring his legacy at Brooklyn Botanic Garden and beyond,” he added.

Architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi of Weiss/Manfredi (Photo: Nathan Haselby)

Weiss/Manfredi were also responsible for the design of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s award-winning Diane H. and Joseph S. Steinberg Visitor Center.

“We are thrilled to continue our work with Brooklyn Botanic Garden,” the architects Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi said in a statement. “Our design for the Robert Wilson Overlook is conceived as an ascending crape-myrtle garden shaped by spaces for communal gathering that overlook the iconic Cherry Esplanade. The curvilinear path, cast stone walls, and integrated benches and lighting choreograph a collection of framed views that reveal the magic of the garden.”

Go to architectmagazine.com to see Weiss/Manfredi’s renderings of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Robert W. Wilson Overlook.

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