Abolitionist Place

The new park, designed by renowned landscape architecture firm Hargreaves Jones, includes a children’s play area, lawns, dog run, ornamental plantings, a waterplay feature, and multiple seating areas. Abolitionist Place is managed and programmed by DBP, an instrumental partner throughout the redevelopment.

The open space is a key component of the Downtown Brooklyn Redevelopment Plan, a set of space and infrastructure commitments made in 2004 as a part of a comprehensive plan to facilitate the continued growth of Downtown Brooklyn.

Downtown Brooklyn has undergone significant growth since being rezoned in 2004, resulting in its transformation from a civic district to one of the country’s most dynamic mixed-use downtowns. While twenty years ago it was envisioned that growth would mostly be in office space, the result was very different – extraordinary residential growth, the emergence of the Brooklyn Cultural District, a strong and growing education sector, new retail and entertainment space, and new office space for the burgeoning tech and creative sectors.

Planning for the development of Abolitionist Place began in 2010, when NYCEDC facilitated a community design process with residents, stakeholders, designers, elected officials, and City agencies. In 2019, the city renamed Willoughby Square Park to Abolitionist Place, commemorating the 19th century Abolitionist Movement and its ties to Brooklyn. Abolitionist Place is adjacent to 227 Duffield Street, home of abolitionists Harriet and Thomas Truesdell from 1851 to 1863, which was given landmark status in 2021.

In partnership with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art program, artist Kenseth Armstead was selected to design a site-specific public art installation commemorating the Abolitionist Movement.


  • acreage:  1.15 acres
  • seating: benches; concrete seat wall; MOVEABLE BISTRO FURNITURE
  • LIGHTING: eleven IN-PLAZA lamp posts; tivoli lighting
  • green space: lawn and planting areas
  • features: water element; children’s play area; dog park


Willoughby Street + Albee Square West


Subscribe to our newsletters