Maurice Park, also known as the Frank Principe Park, was constructed by the Department of Parks and the WPA in 1940. The November 1940 press release announcing the opening of the new Park described the WPA’s work in detail:
“Every square foot has been well utilized in this intensively developed tract which was formerly the property of a privately owned Water Company. Acquired by the City in 1937 for unpaid taxes and assessments totaling $358,817.00, the property was placed under the jurisdiction of the Department of Water Supply. Because the pumping station was inactive the Park Department, in February 1939, succeeded in having the property transferred for development as a park.
Three types of active recreation areas are grouped about the formal central mall which serves as the main entrance to the park from Borden Avenue and divides the property approximately in half. There are four rows of Oak trees along the bench lined double promenade flanking the grass panels of this shaded resting spot.
A flag pole with an attractively designed cast stone base accents the intersection of this north and south major axis of the development and the center line of a small brick comfort station which serves the adjacent play areas in the eastern half.
For small children there is the typical battery of swings, seesaws, slides and a sand pit. Adjoining this area is a wading pool which also serves as a volley ball court for winter use.
A larger unit for adolescents and adult use contains 10 handball courts, a multiple use section for open play, ice skating, softball and basketball, four horse shoe and six shuffle board courts. A small section of this unit also contains swings and slides for older children.
The western half of the park contains a regulation size baseball diamond and concrete bleachers with seating capacity for approximately 1,000 spectators. Two football fields with removable goal posts and a softball diamond complete the development.
The opening of this playground designed by the Park Department and built by the Work Projects Administration makes a total of 296 new playgrounds completed since June 1934.”
The park was further renovated in the 1990s.
Department of Parks, Press Release, November 2, 1940 NYC Parks - Frank Principe Park New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on November 29, 2016.
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