On October 19, the Prospect Park Alliance cut the ribbon on the restoration of Music Island and the Esplanade—portions of the original Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux design that were destroyed in 1960 to make way for Wolman Rink.
The alliance based its restoration efforts on Olmsted and Vaux’s original plans as well as archival photographic analysis and certain pieces of stone and cast iron that were found buried on the site. It removed invasive species of plants while re-excavating the five acre lake. It rebuilt granite walls along the formal part of the esplanade and extended the soft edge with boulders, native trees, shrubs, and aquatic plants. It also restored the radial path system and terrace that once surrounded the lake.
A second phase of construction, currently underway, will add a new 25,000-square-foot facility and two skating rinks designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and constructed by Sciame. The second phase is scheduled to be completed in December 2013. The rinks will host ice-skating and hockey in the fall and winter and roller skating and a water playground in the spring and summer.