“Experiencing Prospect Park” chronicles Brooklyn’s overlooked oasis

Easton photographer Elizabeth Keegin Colley and her writer husband David Colley will be giving a talk about the release of their new book “Prospect Park: The Olmsted & Vaux Brooklyn Masterpiece” at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12 in the Gendebien Room of Lafayette College’s Skillman Library.

Talk at Lafayette College on September 12 on Prospect Park Book Chronicles Brooklyn's Overlooked OasisThe talk is free and open to the public. A book signing and reception will follow. Elizabeth Keegin Colley’s photographs will remain on display in the Lass Gallery of Skillman through December 2013.

Colley spent three years photographing New York’s long overlooked Prospect Park, a 585-acre oasis in the bustling heart of Brooklyn, in all seasons and times of the day and night. Designers Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux considered Prospect Park a work of art and a masterpiece superior even to their other creation: Central Park.

The two were considered American’s pre-eminent landscape architects at the time and Olmstead went on to become the father of American landscape design.

The resulting photographs, described as “luscious” by New York magazine, are the visual heart of the book, while David Colley’s text traces the park’s colorful history from its creation in the mid 19th century to its decline in the 1970s, the restoration in the 1980s, up to the new Lakeside Center Facility, which is scheduled to open in 2013.

The book is the first monolith of this superb public space and includes archival prints of the park, which served as a sanctuary for Brooklyn’s immigrant population, a place where they could enjoy fresh air and nature’s cleansing effects away from the tenements and polluted streets.

David P. Colley is the author of seven books, including Blood for Dignity and The Road to Victory. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, American Heritage, Popular Mechanics, Historic Preservation and many other publications.

Elizabeth Keegin Colley is a photographer specializing in work for non-profit organizations including universities, park systems and libraries. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New York magazine, Newsweek, Business Week and many other publications.

The Colley’s are available by request for media interviews prior to their talk on Thursday, Sept. 12.


Kathleen Parrish
Associate Director of Media Relations
Lafayette College
Communications Division
Easton, PA 18042