Elsewhere online
April 20, 2012

Cycling Enthusiast Pledges $40-Million for NYC Velodrome

A cyclist and grandson of New York City philanthropists has committed $40-million to build a field house featuring an indoor bicycle track in Brooklyn Bridge Park, writes The New York Times.

The gift from Joshua P. Rechnitz is the largest ever to a city park. He has already retained an architect to design the 115,000-square-foot velodrome, which will feature a banked oval track for cycling races, up to 2,500 seats, and facilities for basketball, tennis, and other sports.

Mr. Rechnitz, described by a spokeswoman as a "very private person who keeps a low profile," is the grandson of the late Robert and Harriet Heilbrunn, who made large donations to Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and other city institutions.

The donor declined to be interviewed, but the spokeswoman said he had researched possible sites for a cycling track in New York and New Jersey for three years before approaching Brooklyn Bridge Park officials in 2011. Those talks quickly broadened into plans for a multi-use facility, said Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.