Host to “The Black Woodstock” in the summer of 1969
Marcus Garvey Park, one of the oldest parks in New York City, is located between 120th and 124th Streets between Fifth and Madison Avenues, and is approximately 20 acres in size. In approximately 1835, the park’s land was acquired and the park opened in 1840. Originally named Mount Morris Park (for which the surrounding neighborhood’s historic district is named), in 1973 the park was renamed in honor of Marcus Garvey (1887–1940), who was a publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and crusader for Black Nationalism and who, in 1919, established the Universal Negro Improvement Association. The park is home to the only surviving fire watchtower, which was designed by Julius Kroehl and erected in 1855-1857. It was declared a landmark in 1967 because of its unique post-and-lintel cast-iron construction, which provided the prototype framing for the modern-day skyscraper, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The Watchtower serves as an important community landmark. In an effort to contain fires in NYC an elaborate reservoir system was constructed which included the Watchtower and the Croton Aqueduct. The park is also home to the Pelham Fritz Recreation Center, which contains a state-of-the-art physical fitness center, a 1,700-seat amphitheater (which was a gift from Broadway musical giant Richard Rodgers, who grew up across from the park in the early 1900s), and the Harlem Little League, which won the Mid-Atlantic Championship in 2002. The Amphitheater is the site for two popular annual events—the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in late August and the two-day Dance Harlem Festival in September.
Facilities: Basketball courts, two dog runs, Olympic-size pool, playgrounds, recreation center that houses a fitness center containing cardiovascular equipment and a weight room, baseball field, barbecue area, African drumming circle, senior citizen program, computer resource center, and amphitheater where summer cultural events are staged.
Check out the unique brownstone at 4 West 123rd Street, which was “dressed up” by it owners in 1885 with an elaborate cast-iron fence and gate and a stamped, galvanized tin oriel window. Then stop by the Mount Morris Ascension Presbyterian Church and checkout one of the only three copper domes in New York.
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Posted by Max on 13th Jan 2012
I can only subscribe to what other people already have told about the guide. It’s just great that I can read a place description, actually give a call its manager, find it on a map and even hook up on its Twitter channel to keep my eye on it. Very smart!
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