The Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Center at Lakeside is the largest and most ambitious project in Prospect Park since its creation nearly 150 years ago. Spanning 26 acres, this $74 million restoration by the Prospect Park Alliance transformed the southeast corner of the Park into a popular scenic and recreational destination.
Since opening in 2013, the LeFrak Center has become a year-round community destination welcoming more than 200,000 visitors each year. The public can enjoy seasonal recreational activities, programming and special events, including ice skating, roller skating, boating, biking and free water play at the Park’s largest water feature, which was named New York Magazine’s 2015 “Best of New York.” The Skate School offers classes for skating, hockey, curling and broomball. Lakeside’s Bluestone Café is open year-round and offers a seasonally changing menu of innovative comfort foods, crisp salads, hearty sandwiches, and healthy snacks alongside beverages.
Upsilon Ventures is a project development, marketing, hospitality and production firm specializing in creating one-of-a-kind destinations through public-private partnerships, and the utilization of public spaces and real estate for innovative and iconic destinations, temporary retail, events, hospitality and other revenue generating opportunities. Upsilon Ventures’ destination portfolio include the Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, LeFrak Center Lakeside Prospect Park, South Street Seaport Ice Rink, and two soon to be opened destinations in partnership with Westfield World Trade Center and The Recording Academy, respectively.
PROSPECT PARK ALLIANCE
Prospect Park Alliance is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s flagship park. The Alliance provides a majority of the staff and operating budget that keeps the Park green and beautiful. The Alliance cares for the natural environment, restores historic design, and provides public programs and amenities for the Park, which receives more than 10 million visits each year. Learn more at www.prospectpark.org.
HONORS AND AWARDS
The LeFrak Center at Lakeside was designed by the famed Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects in collaboration with the Prospect Park Alliance’s chief landscape architect, Christian Zimmerman.
Since its opening, Lakeside has received numerous honors, including the Municipal Arts Society and the New York Public Design Commission. In January 2015, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) honored LeFrak Center at Lakeside with a 2015 Honor Award, the highest honor in the field of architecture. The LeFrak Center was selected for this award from a pool of nearly 500 candidates.
By incorporating green design elements, Lakeside was certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. The facility features a storm-water runoff system through which water is recycled for irrigating the surrounding landscapes, water-efficient plumbing and green roofs, all of which reduce its impact on the environment. Additionally, more than 84% of the construction waste generated by the building of the LeFrak Center was recycled for use in the construction process. This prevented more than 420 tons of waste from being dumped into landfills. Lastly, the project created three additional acres of green space, replacing a 300-car paved parking lot, and restored the shoreline of the Lake and created an island to provide new wildlife habitat.