Herbert Von Placemaking

In A Sense of Place, 10. Placemaking by Idris Al-Hadidi2 Comments

Herbert Von King park is located two blocks from where I live in Brooklyn. As a park, it has so many things to offer. It’s a very welcoming park with six entrances allowing for easy access. There is ample seating located throughout the park. There are basketball courts which get used more often when the weather is nice. There are pleasant plants and trees which make the park easy on the eye. There is a baseball diamond that has enough extra grass to be used as a soccer, football, and of course baseball making it very versatile. There is a large open space of grass perfect for Frisbee and picnics. There is a dog park in the corner of the park which I sometimes take my dog to and is always busy with kind people. There’s also an amphitheater that I have yet to see be used but would be perfect for any type of gathering. Lastly there is a kids park that fully stocked with a playground and everything.

The park has many different pathways which as we’ve talked about before offers every individual the opportunity to find their own pathway. Mine personally is around the outskirts of the park because it has benches conveniently located everywhere with grass strips covered in fallen leaves. I prefer it because living in Michigan fall is my favorite season because I love the colors and smells associated with it. My second favorite place in the park must be the open patch of grass because I know when the weather is nice it’s a perfect place to be and soak up the sun and offers the most versatility in terms of activities. I could take a soccer ball to that park and be there for hours and have no doubt that in the time I spend there I could meet plenty of people who would join and have fun. The park is also located right next to a police station meaning that there is an overwhelming sense of safety and protection even in the night.

Herbert Von King park used to have the name Thompkins park because its location of Thompkins street. The park was specifically designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux. The intentions when creating the park was that it would be a lively residential square not unlike Washington Square Park or Tompkins park in Manhattan. Its purpose was to be the hub for the ever growing middle-class in Bedford-Stuyvesant which for me personally has done a great job of doing just that. The park has been renovated and remodeled since its inception in 1870-1871 but one of the things that has remained is a beautiful rare southern magnolia tree located in front of one of the surrounding homes. Where the cultural center/ amphitheater is located there used to be a library, which was replaced because it was burned down in 1969 and to accommodate the mid-day crowds that would gather there.


  1. Idris,
    This is such a nice description of this park. It’s funny how you can walk around the city and see many parks, yet some of them are completely empty and some are filled to the brim with people trying to find a small space to squeeze into. At first glance, this can be confusing but, as we have learned, there is a real science behind making a place. For parks, there needs to be diversity, open space, benches, multiple pathways, and everything else you have described. This is a perfect example of the ideal park.

    1. Author

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Herbert Von King part is a bit of a trek from mainland manhattan but is most definitely worth the trip. Pick a nice day and take some friends you won’t regret it!

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