Illuminated! Community group pays for city to brighten Carmine Carro Center

Illuminated! Community group pays for city to brighten Carmine Carro Center
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

They lightened their wallets to lighten the park!

Workers installed more lights atop the Carmine Carro Center in Marine Park last week, thanks to a local community group that gave the city some green to make the upgrades. The new bulbs that brighten a flagpole and pathway leading up to the public meeting center should make visitors feel safer coming there after dark while discouraging loiterers, according to the president of the Marine Park Alliance, which funded the new lamps.

“It’s always dark around the park and around the house here, and it should be lit up — especially the pathways and stuff,” said Charles D’Alessandro. “At least there’s some light here, people are not walking through darkness, and it makes it a little safer for people walking up. We’re community minded — just trying to take care of our community that’s all.”

The city finished the famously delayed and over-budget Carmine Carro Center in 2013 — costs ballooned from $5 million to $16 million over the 10 years it took to complete.

The Alliance gave the Parks Department $3,000 to install three floodlights and two spotlights on and around the fieldhouse. One of which illuminates a pole bearing the American and Prisoner of War flags — one of the Alliance’s top priorities for getting the new lights, said D’Alessandro.

“Flags are supposed to be either taken down in the dark and raised in the morning or there’s supposed to light on it, so one of the things we wanted to do was make sure our flag pole had light on it,” he said.

And with winter fast approaching, the new lights will reduce the risk of people slipping on ice, said Ed Jaworski, president of the Madison-Marine-Homecrest Civic Association, which regularly meets in the center.

“This is a lot better, because it’s a black sidewalk and sometimes — especially during the winter — you don’t know if you’re going to step on ice or something,” he said.

Many are urging the city to put in even more lights around the park itself because they don’t feel comfortable walking through it at night. The Parks Department has no immediate plans to add any, but Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park) is looking to fund more light posts around the center and along the pathway leading up to it, he said.

“I don’t think it solves our problem completely, but it will be helpful,” he said. “I want the whole area to be lit because the last time I was there it was extremely dark, they need to have enough light so people don’t kill themselves.”

The city also has no plans to use goats to trim the center’s sometimes-overgrown green roof as it has to trim weeds in hard-to-reach portions of Prospect and Brooklyn Bridge parks.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Shining a light: The new lights on top of the Carmine Carro Center illuminate the American flag in Marine Park — one of the mains reasons the alliance requested them.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf