The redesign of the Henry Hudson entrance is part of the Parks Without Borders project, which is reimagining park entrances and adjacent spaces at parks across the city to make them more welcoming and open to the public.
“Part of Parks Without Borders is to make accessibility to the park easier,” said Parks Commissioner Mitcell Silver at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 29. “Now people will know this is a major entrance.”
The $4.5 million project included reconstruction of the central entrance plaza at 56th Avenue and 111th Street in Corona, which leads visitors to the park’s iconic Unisphere and Queens Zoo, which reopened to the public on July 20.
“This will be a safer entrance to the zoo for school trips and students to safely enter the park,” said zoo director Mike Allen.
The entrance now boasts redesigned walkways, new sidewalks, wider pedestrian routes, and enhanced landscaping.
An important focus of the redesign was to make it easier for mothers with strollers and people with disabilities to safely enter the park.
“Having ADA accessibility was very important so now it's an easy way to get into the park,” Silver said. “It has a prominent entrance, when before you didn’t even know that the entrance was here. It was very subtle.”
Flushing Meadows Corona Park is one of eight Parks Without Borders projects chosen through a community-nomination process.
The other projects are located in Fort Greene Park and Prospect Park in Brooklyn; Van Cortlandt Park and Hugh Grant Circle/Virginia Park and Playground in the Bronx; Jackie Robinson Park and Seward Park in Manhattan; and Faber Park in Staten Island.