Ferry Point Park Development
Aerial of the site: Circa 1938
With a dramatic view of the East River and Westchester Creek, this large regional park is approximately half the size of Central Park. Though Ferry Point Park has grown in area by landfill, the original 171 acres first came under Parks’ jurisdiction in 1937. The City purchased this parcel from the Catholic House of Good Shepherd in proceedings for acquiring land for the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge. The parcel was called Old Ferry and was located at the confluence of Westchester Creek and the Baxter Creek Inlet (the latter was filled in time).
Early use of the site: 1939
The land on which Ferry Point Park was built was part of the Throgmorton Grant of 1642, which was farmed by a series of families through the next two centuries. In 1850, the land was purchased by the shipping magnate Augustus DiZerega and the tobacco manufacturer Jacob Lorillard. It was then sold to the Catholic House of the Good Shepherd in 1916. The park was named for the ferries that traveled between the Bronx and Queens, from Westchester Village to Whitestone and from Clason Point to College Point. The Twin City Ferry Company and the City of New York administered ferries along the latter route from 1910 to 1939.
Early use of the site: 1938
With the construction of the bridges and tunnels linking the City’s many islands and mainland, the ferries were put out of operation. When the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge was opened in 1939, ferry service between Clason Point and Ferry Point discontinued. With many acres to develop and numerous shade trees outlining the parkland, the site of Ferry Point Park had great potential. About this same time, New York City Park Commissioner Robert Mosses planned a beach, bathhouse, and a cafeteria complex with a bus terminal and a parking field. That plan was never developed, but the western portion of the park (west of the Bridge and the Hutchinson River Parkway) was developed as athletic fields and passive parkland in 1939.