NYA Workers Installing Coping Stones at Inwood Hill ParkThis is a picture of NYA boys putting on coping stones at the edge of the concrete paths. The paths at Inwood Park have been constructed on sides of hills and unless there were some retaining walls, would be a hazard. This work is really stone masonry apprenticeship. The bridge in the distance is the new Henrick Hudson Bridge. There is about 2,000 feet of coping at Inwood Park.
During the Great Depression, the WPA radically transformed this large park at the Northwest tip of Manhattan, making accessible what is now the only largely non-landscaped park in all of Manhattan. WPA workers built roads, trails and overlooks throughout the hilly park. A Department of Parks press release from January 26, 1939 summed up the ongoing work: “The fine native woodland will be made thoroughly accessible by means of a network of footpaths with many benches for strollers… The [Henry Hudson Parkway] Authority provided a further sponsors’ contribution to the WPA for toilet facilities, benches, drinking fountains and overlooks along the high point of the park overlooking the river. The National Youth Administration has done creditable work in the development of the park with walks, trails, drainage and general rehabilitation, and the area is being used by thousands of New York City school children for nature study under the guidance of their teachers.” WPA photos from 1938 show NYA workers installing coping stones on the edge of concrete paths; constructing the Goat Trail path including stone steps cut into the rock; installing Belgian Block Gutter; and grading and landscaping areas of the park near trails.
In addition to these general improvements, New Deal workers built Payson Playground in the Southeast corner of the park, the Dyckman Fields along the Hudson River to the West, and a boat basin and more athletic fields along Seaman Ave. in the Northwest corner.
http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/inwoodhillpark/history http://newdeal.feri.org/library/n_2e_7g.htm Department of Parks, Press Release, January 26, 1939 New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on March 3, 2014.
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