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This hidden archway in Prospect Park just got a gorgeous Insta-worthy upgrade

Its restoration unveils details not seen in more than a century.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

Prospect Park unveiled an incredible, eye-catching update to one of its original arches that uncovered hidden details for the first time in a century.

Late last week, the Endale Arch—which provides quick access to Long Meadow from Grand Army Plaza—was reopened after a five-year restoration. 

The $500,000 project restored the interior of the arch and the exterior stonework, making for an incredible Instagram-worthy scene. Layers of paint and grit were peeled back to show original details, including alternating yellow Berea sandstone and New Jersey brownstone, and white pine and black walnut wood paneling. This design had been hidden for nearly a century.

The Prospect Park Alliance's Design + Construction team left one brick and granite cross vault exposed to show off the detailed craftsmanship put in place over 150 years ago.

Prospect Park Endale Arch
Photograph: Courtesy of Paul Martinka

The restoration was a phased one—it kicked off in 2015 with stabilizing the stone retaining walls and surrounding hillsides; the removal of invasive plants; the addition of native plantings; and improvements to drainage issues and to reduce potential flooding and water damage. The final phase was when the gorgeous details of the tunnel were unveiled.

The archway was one of the first architectural elements constructed in Prospect Park in the 1860s. According to the Prospect Park Alliance, it was meant to be a "transporting entrance to the majestic Long Meadow from Grand Army Plaza" by park creators Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who also designed Central Park. 

"Thanks to this comprehensive restoration, the historic Endale Arch will welcome visitors to Prospect Park’s Long Meadow for generations to come," said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver.

The project was paid for by Tiger Baron Foundation and Council Member Brad Lander's District 39 participatory budgeting.

"I’m thrilled that our community chose through participatory budgeting to support the restoration of Endale Arch, a historic piece of Brooklyn’s backyard," said Council Member Brad Lander. "I thank the Tiger Baron Foundation for their support of this project. At a time when New Yorkers are appreciating their parks more than ever, 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."

You can find the arch at the north end of Prospect Park.

Endale Arch Prospect Park
Photograph: Courtesy of Paul Martinka

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