Yesterday, during some appropriately wintery weather, Prospect Park's new Lefrak Center opened amongst 26 acres of restored parkland in the Lakeside Section of the park.

Mayor Bloomberg, BBP Marty Markowitz, Parks Commissioner Veronica White, and the President of the Prospect Park Alliance Emily Lloyd cut the ribbon at a ceremony opening up the center, which features a cafe, event space, and two ice skating rinks (one open, one covered)—though one will be used for roller skating during the warmer seasons.

This was all part of the final phase of a larger $74 million restoration and redesign of an underutilized section of Prospect Park, and Lloyd explained how the undertaking was funded, noting that "The Prospect Park Alliance and its individual, corporate, and foundation donors played a critical role in making the project a reality, raising close to $20 million—nearly 30% of the funds for the entire project. Because of this generous private giving, we attracted significant public investment to make our plans a reality. Plus the contribution of our naming donors, the LeFraks, means that Lakeside will remain an attraction for the next 100 years." The center is named for Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak.

The recreational center will open to the public this Friday, December 20th. Hours: Monday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sundays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission: $6 (weekdays) and $8 (weekends), with skate rentals for $5.