Growing up: Botanic Garden will transform overlooked ‘Overlook’ into inviting incline

Growing up: Botanic Garden will transform overlooked ‘Overlook’ into inviting incline
Brooklyn Botanic Garden

It’ll be one hill of a view!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden leaders are sprucing up a hill overlooking the sprawling flower bed that will give visitors a new reason to get high in the green space, according to its president.

“It will provide our audience with the chance to view the garden from a new vantage,” said Scot Medbury.

The makeover will give patrons new ways to access the garden’s “Overlook” — a 1.25-acre mound whose top boasts several benches overlooking the Cherry Esplanade that are currently only accessible via a path running between the visitors’ center and Osborne Garden on either side of the hill.

Designs call for carving winding pathways from the esplanade foot of the Overlook up to its summit, allowing those strolling amidst the cherry trees to easily ascend the incline to its peak.

The paths will snake around terraced gardens planted into the hillside, and boast built-in seating where visitors can perch to observe the crape-myrtle trees, ornamental grasses, and other flora sprouting from the newly planted slope, according to information from the Botanic Garden.

Bigwigs tapped architecture firm Weiss-Manfredi to dream up the old hill’s new look, following the company’s creation of the garden’s visitors’ center, which features a so-called living roof planted with a variety of green things and earned the firm several design accolades including a general-excellence award from the city’s Public Design Commission.

Work on the Overlook is expected to kick off in July and wrap next summer, according to a garden rep, who could not immediately confirm the total cost for the project, but said part of the cash for it is coming from a $10-million donation the green space received from a foundation set up by late patron Robert Wilson, who the renovated hill will be named after.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Hill country: Brooklyn Botanic Garden stewards are transforming the Overlook, a hill above the Cherry Esplanade, by installing new pathways and terraced gardens into the incline.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden