Redesign of Bensonhurst playground discussed with local residents

Everyone came out to play on Tuesday, April 19 as the redesign of a Bensonhurst playground was discussed with local officials and residents from the neighborhood.

Lt. Joseph Petrosino Park, 71st Street and 16th Avenue — open since 1935 and renamed in ‘99 for the first Italian-American police detective — will be undergoing renovations and upgrades through the city’s Community Parks Initiative. For that reason, Parks officials have begun to take local feedback on what should happen there, in collaboration with dlandstudio, the designer.

About 50 people were in attendance at the event, held at P.S. 112, including Assemblymember Peter Abbate and Councilmember Vincent Gentile. Members of Community Board 11 and local neighbors were also in attendance.

The residents at the meeting were able to share their ideas with Parks representative, asking for the relocation of the basketball courts to fit more on site. The introduction of more appealing features for youngsters and shady seating for others near the water fountain was requested to accommodate a wider range of ages. Others asked that the memorial for Joseph Petrosino be made more visible. All of the suggestions will be evaluated by dlandstudio, which will try to create a design that fits what everyone wants.

Overall though, this process may take years to finish. It could be another year and a half before designs are approved and the Parks Department can move on to the next phase to prepare construction documents and permits.

A total of $4.5 million has been set aside for the renovations to the playground. When the funding was announced last October, Gentile lauded the upcoming changes.

“We all know about the big parks in our neighborhoods, and, as elected officials, we are able to give these parks much of the financial attention they need to keep our grass green and our local sports teams happy,” Gentile said at the time. “One of the smaller, but no less valued, parks in my district, Lt. Joseph Petrosino Park, will be receiving $4.5 million to make sure that it stays current. This is a step in the right direction to bring all of New York City’s parks into view, the big picture we’ve been waiting for.”

For anyone interested in voicing their opinion on the new designs, the Parks Department will be taking input through May 4 at

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