Must-See Prospect Park
by Heather Liang, 10/02/2013
Litchfield Villa. Photo: Will Steacy
A Bit of History
Like many parks, Prospect Park is home to some historical buildings and sites that date far back into our country's history. Litchfield Villa, which houses borough headquarters for the City of New York/Parks & Recreation and other official offices, was built in 1857 as a home for the family of Edwin Litchfield, a railroad magnate and real estate developer. Because the design of the forthcoming Prospect Park included the land on which Litchfield's home sat, he was forced to sell it in 1869 to the Brooklyn Parks Commission. The Italian-style villa was expanded in 1911, and in 1966 it was designated a New York City Landmark. Adjacent to the carousel and zoo sits Lefferts Historic House, a fun place for families to learn about some New York City history. A Dutch family built the home in the 18th century, and visitors can imagine precolonial times while viewing its working garden, period rooms and exhibitions—and taking part in old-timey activities. Lefferts Historic House hosts many events for families year-round and can also be rented for children's birthday parties.