So what won the committee over? Well, the focus on creating a naturalistic setting was definitely part of it. The other part was the combination of quiet, secluded walks along with a "broad alley," first called the Promenade and latter became the Mall, which was a nod to the European tradition of formal landscape gardening, where large numbers of people could socialize. As I was saying before, even though the Park is right in the middle of the city, you'd hardly know it from inside, and this is not only because of all the trees that act as noise dampeners, but because of the way the requirement that four or more public streets must traverse the park was dealt with; the street were placed in large excavated trenches 8 feet below ground. This allowed for the visual continuity of the landscape to remain undisturbed and for the park to be closed at night without interrupting traffic.
The soil was inadequate to sustain the trees and shrubs Olmsted and Vaux planned, so 500,000 cubic feet of topsoil was carted in from New Jersey. Lacking modern machinery, workers manually dug up earth, and blasted out huge boulders with gunpowder. More than 10 million cartloads of materials and debris were carted in and out on horse-drawn carts. Thirty-six bridges and arches were built and six man-made water bodies, fed from the City's water supply, were created. Andrew Haswell Green served as comptroller and treasurer of the board of commissioners from 1857 to 1871, when the Park was under construction. Green recognized the brilliance of Olmsted and Vaux ’s plan when other commissioners were ready to dismiss it. It is because of Green’s support and protection of the Greensward plan that so much of Central Park is true to its original design.
You see, cool old photographs. Prospect Park was created for similar reasons as Central Park; Brooklyn was growing rapidly, but other than Greenwood Cemetery, there wasn't really any large park space for people to visit. Like Central Park, a Park's commission was formed to choose a design for the park, a competition was held, and once again, Olmsted and Vaux, now as Olmsted, Vaux & Company, Landscape Architects, were the winners. As the Prospect Park Alliance explains in their timeline of the park:
To Olmsted, a great park should be a tranquil, rural landscape where people could recuperate from the incessant pace of city life. Olmsted believed these pleasures belonged to people of every social class, not just the wealthy who could afford to travel outside the city. Prospect Park would be for everyone, but especially Brooklyn’s poor, who could find a bit of the country right in their own backyards. Olmsted and Vaux designed an elaborate infrastructure for Prospect Park, and construction began on July 1, 1866 under their supervision.
So Prospect Park sounded like a dream. There was already the presence of a large number of mature trees, three rolling pastures, and a sizable lake, all of which were incorporated into the final design. In addition to this, Olmsted enjoyed managerial freedom with Prospect Park; the management of the workforce was left up to Olmsted while the Park was being built, allowing him to pursue his vision rather than working as a municipal employee, as he was with Central Park. This greater freedom allowed Olmsted to realize his vision for Prospect Park, and while subsequent years saw a reenvisioning of the Park as more of a civic space, with the addition of a boathouse, bandshell, playgrounds, and other structures, Olmsted's vision remains largely intact to this day.
So there you have it. Quite a lot of information, I know, but trust me when I say that this was the condensed version. I'll see you here next week, when I discuss the 1893 Columbian Exposition, also known as the Chicago World's Fair.
 Witold Rybczynski, A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Scribner, 1999), 166.
 Ibid., 167.
 Ibid., 167.
 Witold Rybczynski, A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the Nineteenth Century (New York: Scribner, 1999), 269.
 Ibid., 262-3.
 Ibid., 271.
 Ibid., 360.
 The Prospect Park Alliance website, "Timeline," http://www.prospectpark.org/visit/history/timeline (accessed August 12, 2009).