The site of this triangular park was once part of the Lispenard Swamp, roughly bounded to the north by Spring Street, to the east by Wooster Street, to the south by Duane Street, and to the west by Greenwich Street. In 1735 Anthony Rutgers, the owner of an adjacent farm, arranged to acquire much of this land in return for draining the swampy ground. In 1741 Rutgers’s daughter Elsie married local landowner Leonard Lispenard, who leased another nearby parcel from Trinity Church. When Rutgers died nine years later, most of his holdings passed to Elsie and Leonard Lispenard. By 1755 all of Rutgers’s property was held by the Lispenards. The area became known as Lispenard Swamp or Lispenard Meadows.