St. Vartan Park – New York NY

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In late 1936, the Department of Parks announced the completion of a major reconstruction of what was then known as St. Gabriel’s Park. Today’s NYC Parks site further describes this work:

“The park was reconstructed in 1936, and a playground, wading pool, roller skating track, and courts for handball, shuffleboard, and horseshoe pitching were added, as well as a field house and comfort station.

In 1938, shortly after the park was renovated, part of the land was surrendered to the Board of Estimate. This was part of an agreement with the New York City Tunnel Authority to make way for an approach to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel completed in 1940. The park’s trees, benches, and playground areas were relocated as the approach road cut the park in two, and decreased the parkland by nearly a quarter acre. In exchange, the Tunnel Authority agreed to improve nearby parks and playgrounds in the vicinity of 42nd Street.”

Although these sources do 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.

By 1951, St. Vartan park had regained the area lost to the tunnel approach. It was further renovated in 1978 and again in 1984.

Source notes

Department of Parks, Press Release, August 10, 1936
New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43
NYC Parks - St. Vartan Park

Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on October 10, 2016.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

1st Ave. & E 35th St.
New York, NY 10016

Coordinates: 40.744998, -73.973623

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