Minetta TrianglePhoto: Frank da Cruz © All Rights Reserved
Minetta Triangle was built circa 1935 with the help of the New Deal. The agency involved in funding or completing the work is unknown to the Living New Deal. During the 1930s, Robert Moses used New Deal funding and labor to build public park facilities, yet rarely credited the New Deal agencies that supported the projects. Because he prohibited the placement of New Deal plaques and corner stones, we have few sources that tie pubic parks in New York to New Deal agencies. However, several of Moses’ statements reveal the large scale of federal funding for parks For a detailed discussion see, Kermit Project, New Deal Assistance in NYC Parks Department Projects, 1934-43.
The NYC Parks site describes the origins of this park: “This small park is a memorial to a not-quite-gone and not-quite-forgotten water feature of Lower Manhattan. When Dutch colonists settled in Manhattan in the 1620s, they learned from local Native Americans about a small brook that was full of trout. It originated near what is now Gramercy Square, burbled its way through (mostly beneath) Greenwich Village, and emptied into the Hudson at what is now West Houston Street. […]
Minetta Green is located at the southeast corner of Minetta Lane and the Avenue of the Americas. In 1934 Board of Transportation granted the Department of Parks a permit to develop this parcel for recreational purposes. A playground opened on the site the following year. After the Board of Estimate assigned this parcel to Parks in 1953, it was developed as a sitting area. Privet hedges were added around the existing pin oaks, and benches were installed.”
From April 1935 on, the WPA quickly became the main source of relief funds and labor for the NYC Parks Department. In a 1939 study, The Works Progress Administration in New York City (pp. 101-102), future Columbia University professor John Millett describes this deep WPA involvement: “The city Parks Department planned all work-relief activities in city parks and decided what work should be carried out at any one time. All projects and jobs were, of course, approved by the W.P.A., which furnished the labor and much of the supplies for the work.”
Department of Parks, Press Release, November 21, 1935
Millett, John D., The Works Progress Administration in New York City, Public Administration Service, Chicago (1939)
The New York Times: "7 NEW PLAY AREAS OPENED BY MOSES," November 23, 1935 (pg. 17)
Minetta Triangle, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, (https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/minetta-triangle), accessed May 13, 2018.
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on May 14, 2018.