Last week, the Prospect Park Alliance announced that the structure, first constructed in the 1860s, has been restored to its “original splendor.” The $500,000 project was funded by the Tiger Baron Foundation with additional support from Councilman Brad Lander.
“Our design and construction team has outdone themselves on this project,” said alliance president Sue Donoghue, “and we are thrilled to share this beautifully restored archway with our community.”
The Endale Arch was originally envisioned by Prospect Park creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux as a transporting entrance to Long Meadow from Grand Army Plaza.
In 2015, the Prospect Park Alliance kicked off a phased restoration project with adjacent landscaping, stabilizing the stone retaining wall and surrounding hillsides, removing invasive plants and adding an array of native plantings.
The group also made improvements to the archway and path to address drainage issues and reduce potential flooding and water damage.
Later in the process, the alliance worked with Barnhart Restoration to restore the interior of the arch and the stonework on the exterior.
After peeling back layers of paint and grit, they found original details of the design that were surprising: a motif of alternating yellow Berea sandstone and New Jersey brownstone, as well as white pine and black wlanut wood paneling.
According to the alliance, they opted to leave one brick and granite cross vault exposed to highlight the “detailed craftsmanship” from over 150 years ago.
They also added new LED lighting to illuminate the interior.
“Thanks to this comprehensive restoration, the historic Endale Arch will welcome visitors to Prospect Park’s Long Meadow for generations to come,” Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said.
“At a time when New Yorkers are appreciating their parks more than ever,” Lander added, “it is wonderful to have an opportunity to learn about and enjoy the contributions of the past to the spaces we love so dearly today.”