Elected officials held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday for a $70 million makeover of Prospect Park.
The project, which is expected to be completed by 2012, will turn the park into a year-round recreational facility for families.
Part of it includes the new lakeside center, which will be on the site of the current Wollman Rink.
The new construction includes two year-round skating rinks. One will be covered to protect it from snow; the other can be used for roller skating in the summer.
There will also be water fountains for kids play in.
Park officials say the re-design will also restore the park's natural environment.
"It's a world-class work of architecture. It's a green building, green technology, two skating rinks, summertime use, year-round use," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "A truly great democratic space being built in a public-private partnership."
"In the design 150 years ago, they wanted to have such a thing and it never got built. So this really creates that kind of a meeting place and activities center," said Prospect Park administrator Tupper Thomas.
The project will also expand the lake about five acres and add more green space.
So far, $54 million has already been raised for the project though public and private funding.
The Prospect Park Alliance is hoping for some state money and more private donations to pay for it.