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Brooklyn Botanic Garden unveils sculptural path with scenic vista

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The new overlook is the latest in a series of renovations to modernize the garden

The new overlook at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Michael Stewart, Courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Nature lovers have a new scenic spot with Instagram-worthy views.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden has unveiled its Robert W. Wilson Overlook with more than an acre of new greenery. Curved sculptural retaining walls guide visitors along the gradual incline of a 600-foot-long switchback path with 40,000 new plants.

At its peak, New Yorkers can enjoy sweeping views of the Cherry Esplanade—lush with blossoms in the springtime—on garden land that was previously undeveloped. The new walkway remedies the lack of access between the upper walkway and the Cherry Esplande, allowing for a better visitor flow along with new communal spaces. The architects at Weiss/Manfredi took design cues from the firm’s Diane H. and Joseph S. Steinberg Visitor Center just east of the hill for a cohesive look, said the garden’s president.

The view from the top of the outlook.
Michael Stewart, Courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden

“Weiss/Manfredi’s design seamlessly integrates the Overlook into the rest of the Garden as it knits architectural elements of the Steinberg Visitor Center to major horticultural plantings east and west,” said Scot Medbury, president of Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

The curvilinear path features cast stone walls, integrated benches, and lighting to create “a collection of framed views that reveal the magic of the Garden,” the overlook’s designers, Marion Weiss and Michael Manfredi, said in a joint statement.

The outlook comes with 40,000 new plants.
Michael Stewart, Courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Of the thousands of new plants on the hill, 34 flowering crape-myrtle trees are the standout flora with pale pink, white, and lavender blooms. Native grasses and perennials are also combined to form a resilient ecosystem that will invite a diversity of insect life and build erosion-resistant soils. Wild strawberry, Tennessee coneflower, and Texas sedge are among the newly planted bulbs.

The effort is the latest in a decade of renovations to modernize the garden that will culminate with the reopening of the Elizabeth Scholtz Woodland Garden late this month.