Brownsville park ‘open for business’ after $21 million make-over

calahan-kelly playground in brownsville
The Callahan-Kelly Playground in Brownsville is open again after a significant facelift.
Photo courtesy of NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney

The newly-redesigned Callahan-Kelly Playground in Brownsville officially opened to the public this month after undergoing a $21.6 million face-lift.

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. 

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

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

“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 following the Nov. 16 ribbon cutting ceremony. “This is such a wonderful start to the major investments that the City is making in the Broadway Junction transit hub.”

The grand opening comes after more than three years of community engagement and planning studies, and is part of the wider plan from the Adams administration to invest an additional $500 million in public realm and infrastructure improvements at and around Broadway Junction station. 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. 

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

“Callahan-Kelly Playground is open for business! 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.

Acquired by the 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 as a testament to the profound impact open spaces can have on morale and sense of community, according to local Council Member Sandy Nurse.

callahan kelly brownsville equipment
The revamp is part of a planned large-scale project around Broadway Junction.Photo courtesy of NYC Parks/Malcolm Pinckney

“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.