Map of the Month – January 2013

This month’s featured map shows a plan for the Parade Ground, laid out just south of Prospect Park.   Parade grounds served a significant purpose in the 19th century by providing large expanses of land where the military could conduct drills and exercises. Originally, the park’s designers Frederick Law Olmsted  and Calvert Vaux proposed that the park’s parade ground be located in East New York, but they later settled on an area south of the park. Completed in 1869, about two years after the park opened to the public, the Parade Ground served the military’s needs while protecting the grasses of the Long Meadow from the stress of repeated drills.  As early as 1881 the Grounds began to be used for field sports when not being used drills and parades.  By 1905 the Parade Grounds consisted of twenty-five baseball diamonds, only half of which were regulation size and during the winter the area hosted rugby and four football fields.

Plan for the Parade Ground : proposed to be laid out for Kings Co., L.I. States & Koch. ca. 1860. Brooklyn Historical Society Map Collection.

(Click on the image to see more detail)

Special thanks goes out to Paul Nelson, Press Director of the Prospect Park Alliance, and the Prospect Park Archives who helped with some of the historic details of this post!

Interested in seeing more maps? You can view the BHS map collection anytime during the library’s open hours, Wed.-Fri., from 1-5 p.m. No appointment is necessary to view most maps. Our cataloged maps can be searched through BobCat and our map inventories through Emma . Map of the Month is part of a project to catalog our map holdings, funded through the Council on Library and Information Resources Hidden Collections program. If you would like to help us do more of this kind of work with our exciting map holdings, donate here.

Carolyn

About Carolyn

Carolyn is the Project Map Cataloger on a grant-funded project until May 2012. When not reveling in all things cartographic, she enjoys knitting and exploring Brooklyn.
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