Tonight (Wednesday January 5, 2011) at 7 p.m., several community leaders, neighborhood groups and municipal agencies will host a Community Meeting, which they are also calling a "Listening Session," at the Cooper Park Recreational Gym, where they are asking for suggestions on how to spend the money and improve the park.
Presumably, the info session was inspired by the success of the input sessions recently held to determine how to spend $22 million to improve waterfront areas around Newtown Creek. Is this just how parks will be developed and restored in North Brooklyn now? By crowdsourcing the many unemployed urban planners who live nearby?
Cooper Park has an interesting history: it was named after Peter Cooper, noted 19th Century New Yorker, inventor of Jell-O and eponym of Cooper Union. The naming wasn't a simple a simple tribute: the park is the former site of Cooper's glue factory, where he had "determined to make the best glue," before his descendants sold the site to the city in 1895, after the factory had been moved out of Brooklyn, for $55,000. (If those are 1895 dollars, inflation makes the price well over $1 million.)