As you’re passing the large mansion called Oak Ridge on Forest Park Drive about 3/4 mile north of Park Lane South in Forest Park, it looks as if a private domicile that had existed since the 19th Century had been swept up and included in the park as it was built around it. This wouldn’t be unprecedented: The Litchfield Mansion and Lefferts House in Prospect Park had indeed had private ownership before becoming part of Prospect Park. That park even contains a cemetery owned by the Quakers that was in place before the park was built surrounding it in the 1870s.
Oak Ridge, however, has always been one of the clubhouses of the Forest Park Golf Course since it was constructed in 1905, ten years after the owner of the local property, David Leggett, sold it to the City of Brooklyn in 1895 for its Department of Parks (though it must be emphasized that Forest Park is contained completely within Queens). The golf course opened in 1901 and expanded to 18 holes in 1905. The building now serves as home of the Forest Park administration headquarters and the offices of the Queens Council for the Arts.
If it’s a private mansion in Forest Park you’re looking for, there is one of sorts in the Glendale sector of the park, just inside the park entrance at Myrtle Avenue and 80th street. There, the Edward Bourcier Mansion serves as a clubhouse of the Dry Harbor Playground. After Bourcier sold the house to Charles Strain, it served for a few decades as the Brooklyn Forest Park Golf Clubhouse, a more restricted venue than Oak Ridge.