Downtown Brooklyn Partnership’s Make It in Brooklyn Design Social series continued in June with a design tour of Abolitionist Place, Downtown Brooklyn’s newest open space, followed by a networking event at FXCollaborative, designer and tenant of 1Willoughby Square. Staff from a diverse range of creative firms from the area were invited to connect, learn, and have some fun. 

Mary Margaret Jones of landscape designers Hargreaves Jones, led a tour of this urban oasis, discussing the various design iterations the proposed park went through – including the original plan for the park to be built atop an underground parking garage – and the long struggle to make the park a reality. In 2019, what was first known as Willoughby Square Park was renamed Abolitionist Place, recognizing the area’s ties to the Abolitionist movement. 

Following the tour, attendees gathered on the terrace of FXCollaborative, overlooking the park and Downtown Brooklyn skyline. Dan Kaplan, senior partner at FXCollaborative, welcomed the large group, which included staff from design firms such as ARO, SO-IL and W Architecture, who made new connections and enjoyed the beautiful evening. 

The Make It in Brooklyn Design Socials are a series of events designed to strengthen connections between the design community of Downtown Brooklyn. Hosted by local design firms, the events are open to local design tenants and other creatives and feature site visits, talks, lunch get togethers, social events, and celebrations. 

As we plan for our upcoming Make It in Brooklyn Design Social, we welcome the design community at large to join us. The Make It in Brooklyn Design Socials offer opportunities for networking, learning, and inspiration. 

For more information, please contact Sarah Abdallah at

And sign up for our monthly Make It in Brooklyn: Minutes!