Bensonhurst park gets a facelift

A new park grows in Bensonhurst.

Calvert Vaux Park, located at Bay 44th Street, is currentlyundergoing construction under plans that were developed inconjunction with PlaNYC, part of the city’s ongoing efforts toreclaim park space and redesign formerly underutilized space.

Formerly Drier-Offerman Park, the recreational area — whichwill eventually extend to Bay 49th Street and Shore Parkway — willboast an additional eight acres of open space (growing from 77 to85 acres) as well as the addition of several athletic fields.Included in the designs is the restoration of coastal and aquatichabitats, as the area is home to wildlife and bordered by GravesendBay.

In total, the site, renamed after architect Calvert Vaux, whodesigned Prospect Park in Brooklyn and other New York spaces withpartner Frederick Law Olmsted, will encompass a playground,basketball courts, bocce courts, six baseball diamonds and a soccerfield.

The Parks Department has high hopes for the future of area,paralleled by the Belt Parkway and across the street from the BlockInstitute. However, it seems the community and others haveforgotten about the space, perhaps due to its location and lack ofdevelopment over the years.

Bob Cavaliere, director of the Parkville Youth Organization,commented that when he coached a softball team in the 1990s theyused one of Drier-Offerman’s fields but, We didn’t call it that;we referred to the fields as Shore Parkway. I did not know theywere renovating those fields.

[I was] unaware of the restorations to the park. I have seenthe sign about the renaming, with the architect’s [Calvert Vaux]name but I did not know what was going on, noted President of theBensonhurst West End Community Council (BWECC), Carmine SantaMaria.

The Parks Department remains optimistic that, As the PlaNYCproject phases are completed, Calvert Vaux will become adestination for athletics, relaxation and enjoying nature.

The plans for this little-known spot have been approved byCommunity Board 13, says District manager Chuck Reichenthal.

For more information on the space and what it will include whencompleted, visit

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