Ocean Hill’s Callahan-Kelly Playground Opens After Renovation


By Adam Daly, Brooklyn Paper

The newly redesigned Callahan-Kelly Playground in Ocean Hill officially opened to the public this month after undergoing a $21.6 million facelift.

The reconstruction project, which started last October, saw the city’s park’s department expand the green space by permanently closing a block-long segment of Sackman Street to traffic and installing new and improved amenities. With an address of 19 Sackman Street, the park is located under and around the Broadway Junction transit hub.

ribbon cutting

NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue joined Member Sandy Nurse and other local elected officials for a ribbon-cutting at the playground on November 16. Photo via NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney

In addition to the children’s playground, the three-acre park now features a brand-new skate park, renovated basketball courts, modern fitness equipment, a synthetic turf field, game tables, and new ping pong tables. On top of that, there are also two new dog runs and new shade structures, foliage, and seating.

“Thanks to this $21.6 million redesign, the revamped Callahan-Kelly Playground is now a destination that New Yorkers of all ages can safely enjoy for decades to come,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue in a prepared statement. “This is such a wonderful start to the major investments that the City is making in the Broadway Junction transit hub.”

brownsville - people playing in the callahan-kelly playground

The revamp is part of a planned large-scale project around Broadway Junction. Photo via NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney

The grand opening comes after more than three years of planning studies and community engagement, and is part of the wider plan from the Adams administration to invest an additional $500 million in public space improvements in the Broadway Junction area. The project also includes plans for two new public plazas on either side of Van Sinderen Avenue and Fulton Street — the anticipated completion date for which is sometime in 2030.

“This is an exciting milestone for all the Bed Stuy, East New York, and Brownsville residents who have access to this beautiful green space starting today, and representative of the Adams administration’s broader commitment to this neighborhood and to delivering park space across the city,” said Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu in a prepared statement.

biker and skateboarder in the park

The revamped park features a brand-new skate park along with basketball courts, ping pong tables, and more. Photo via NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney

Acquired by New York City in 1938, Callahan-Kelly Playground is named for William E. Callahan and Edward E. Kelly, local soldiers who died during World War I. Since then, the green space has been a testament to the profound impact open spaces can have on morale and sense of community, according to local Council Member Sandy Nurse.

“In a city constantly evolving, every New Yorker deserves a haven for connection and respite. We are thrilled to witness the success of Callahan Kelly Playground, a space that embodies the essence of community and serves as a vital refuge for all,” said Nurse in a press release.

Editor’s note: A version of this story originally ran in Brooklyn Paper. Click here to see the original story.

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