Historic Parks and Playgrounds

BRONZE AROUND HARLEM/Historic Parks and Playgrounds
Harlem 125
Written By Harlem 125

Historic Parks and Playgrounds On and Around 125th Street

Harlem is known as a home to art, culture, and community, but did you know about the beautiful and historic parks that are located in the neighborhood? The beautiful parks of Harlem offer residents and visitors an opportunity to get outside for fresh air and engage with a piece of history. The parks in Harlem have been important not only for the development of the neighborhood but have also offered a sense of community and safety for Harlem's Black community. For more information about Harlem's parks, visit the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website.

Visit the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation website for more information!

West Harlem Piers

Located at the intersection of Marginal St. & West 132nd St

"The West Harlem Waterfront Park is a landscaped transformation of the historic Manhattanville shoreline. For thousands of years, the natural topography of this site formed a valley and small sheltered cove off the Hudson River, also known as the North River. This solitary break between the bluffs of today’s Morningside Heights and Washington Heights provided the only direct river access to the area’s earliest native residents as well as a convenient inroad to the area’s early 17th-century non-native arrivals." -NYC Parks

Central Park: the Harlem Meer

Central Park is recognized as the most iconic park in New York City and perhaps the world.

"Since day one, Central Park has been the city dweller’s backyard: a lush and wide-open retreat from the swarming cityscape just beyond its perimeter. What began as a citizen-led effort to revitalize this precious resource became a lasting commitment to the health of the Park and, in turn, that of all New Yorkers. The Conservancy has invested more than $1 billion to date in this mission, the impact of which is beyond measure." -Central Park Conservancy

Central Park: Seneca Village

Do you know the history of Seneca Village? Check out the information below!

Read more about the history of Seneca Village

St. Nicholas Park

Located at the intersection of St Nicholas Ave & St Nicholas Terrace

"This spacious park is named for St. Nicholas of Myra. It is located at the intersection of St. Nicholas Avenue, 127th Street, St. Nicholas Terrace and 141st Street, bordering the Manhattan neighborhoods of Hamilton Heights, Manhattanville, and Harlem." -NYC Parks

Riverside Park

Located along the west side of Manhattan from W 72nd Street to W 158th Street Did you know that this park is four miles long?

"Recreational facilities include a range of sports courts and fields, a skate park, a large portion of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway (for bicycles), and the 110-slip public marina at 79th street, an important part of New York State's Water Trail." -NYC Parks

Highbridge Park

Located between West 155th Street and Dykman Avenue

"Although widely known for its important landmarks, the Highbridge tower, and formerly mentioned bridge, the park offers natural beauty and recreational fun that serve as reason enough to visit. The park boasts the city’s first mountain biking course and a world-class skate park. Open vistas and an unusual geologic makeup greet visitors who stroll the pathways north and south through the park, while pedestrians and waterside cyclists on the greenways cherish its magnificent cliffs and large rock outcroppings. The Highbridge Recreation Center and Pool have kept active New Yorkers busy since 1936, and several playgrounds and ballfields have been constructed throughout the park over the last century." -NYC Parks

Sakura Park

Located at 500 Riverside Drive

"Sakura Park owes its name to the more than 2,000 cherry trees delivered to parks in New York City from Japan in 1912. The word sakura means “cherry blossom” in Japanese. The cherry trees were to be presented as a gift from the Committee of Japanese Residents of New York as part of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration in 1909." -NYC Parks

Harlem River Park

Located on Harlem River Drive between 125th Street and 145th Street

"Harlem River Park is being built by the City of New York along 20 acres of the Manhattan Harlem River waterfront, east of the Harlem River Drive, from 125th to 145th Streets. Since 2002, three phases of the park, from 132nd to 145th streets, have been built. Other phases connecting the park to a planned greenway around the island are in the early planning stages." -NYC Parks

Marcus Garvey Park

Located on 124th Street and Mt Morris Park W

"The two playgrounds are built for all children, including those with disabilities, giving the neighborhood's youngest members hours of fun on the park’s slides, fountains, and drawbridges. On summer days families and friends swim and sun in its outdoor pool, and in the warm evenings they gather to watch plays and concerts in the park’s amphitheater." -NYC Parks

Fort Tyron Park

Located between 192nd Street and 200th Street Street along the Hudson River

"Fort Tryon Park is home to Manhattan's largest dog run, complete with a gazebo for dog owners to sit and socialize, as well as two playgrounds, volleyball courts, and built-in ping pong tables. The pristine views of the Hudson River make the park the perfect setting for exploring, meandering strolls, and picnics." -NYC Parks

Holcombe Rucker Park

Located at 280 W 155th St

"Holcombe Rucker (1926-1965) is remembered here for the major basketball tournaments he founded at this court, and for the generations of players that emerged under his wing. Born and raised in Manhattan and schooled at Benjamin Franklin High School, Rucker worked between 1948 and 1964 as a Playground Director for NYC Parks at various Harlem playgrounds. Rucker’s main purpose was to train local kids so that they could better compete on the court and in life." -NYC Parks

Jackie Robinson Park

Located at the intersection of Bradhurst Avenue and West 151st Street

"Originally built as a neighborhood playground to encourage organized play for city children, and one of the ten original parks to receive a City pool, Jackie Robinson Park’s history is steeped with efforts to bring the neighborhood together in recreational fun. Along with its pool opening in 1936, a recreation center was created the same year. Equipped with traditional cardiovascular equipment, weight room, and gymnasium, the recreation center also boasts a library, Computer Resource Center, and an arts & crafts room, among other features." -NYC Parks

Morningside Park

Located on Morningside Drive between West 110th Street and West 123rd Street

"With its convenient location in the heart of Northern Manhattan, only a few blocks from Columbia University, Riverside Park, St. Nicholas Park, the Apollo Theater, and the northern tip of Central Park, Morningside Park’s grounds make an ideal starting point for wanderings, bike rides, and walking tours." -NYC Parks


Historic Parks and Playgrounds

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