On Jan. 28, 1975, Ocean Parkway was designated a scenic landmark.
The historic thoroughfare is close to six miles long, running north to south from Prospect Park to Coney Island. The idea for the parkway emerged in the 1860s. It was suggested by famed park designers Frederic Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, designers of Prospect Park (as well as Central Park). They were inspired by the boulevards of Paris and Berlin.
The road was constructed between 1874 and 1876. It resembles Eastern Parkway, which extends eastward from Grand Army Plaza. Both have a central roadway, two side roads and two sidewalks lined with trees and benches.
In 1894, Ocean Parkway became the home of the country’s first bike path.
During World War I many grand houses were built along the parkway, and in the 1920s, rows of one- and two-family houses as well as apartment buildings were constructed. After World War II, more apartment buildings replaced older houses on streets near the parkway.
The northernmost section of Ocean Parkway was turned into the Prospect Expressway in the 1950s.
This article was written by Vernon Parker (1923-2004)