This small park near the waterfront in Chelsea was first acquired by the NYC Parks Department in 1915. In 1923, the park was named in honor of Thomas F. Smith, a Chelsea native turned successful politician. It was further transformed in the 1930s:
“In 1931 the park was compromised by the opening of the West Side also known as the Miller Elevated Highway, which bisected the property. Improvements were made to the easterly portion in the mid-1930s, including the introduction of handball and shuffle-bard courts, horseshoe pits, and London planetrees (Platanus x acerifolia).”
More precisely, the Department of Parks press release announced the opening of the new park on June 25, 1936. Although the release does not mention the WPA or other New Deal agencies, researcher Frank da Cruz explains here that almost all New York City Parks Department projects between 1934 and 1943 were carried out with New Deal funds and/or labor, and that after April 1935, the WPA quickly became the main source of this support.
The park was renovated and renamed Chelsea Waterside Park in 2000.
Department of Parks, Press Release, June 25, 1936 NYC Parks - Chelsea Waterside Park New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on October 6, 2016.
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