Five Parks (FDR Drive)
E. 53 St. To E. 54 St. At Sutton Pl.; Foot of E. 55 St., E. 56 St., E. 57 St.
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This armillary sphere, an astronomical model with rings showing the relationships among the principal celestial circles, and sundial was installed in 1971. The ensemble was designed by the firm of Butter, Levine and Blumberg and the sculptor, Albert Stewart, who also is credited with the sundial on the Waldo Hutchins bench in Central Park, near the East 72nd Street entrance.
The pedestal is of cast stone and the main component, fabricated by Kenneth Lynch and Sons, depicts figures from the zodiac on a spherical armature of bronze. This decorative and functional object was the gift of neighborhood philanthropist Hugh Trumbull Adams, through the Salute to Seasons Fund. Mr. Adams also donated the Peter Pan statue in Manhattan’s Carl Schurz Park. This tribute to youthful human nature was created by Charles Andrew Hafner (1889–1960) in 1928.
This park, named for landscape architect Clara Stimson Coffey (1894–1982), is one of a series of five vest-pocket parks that run along the East River in the vicinity of Sutton Place (York Avenue between 53rd and 59th Streets.) Originally known as “Five Parks,” the sites were renamed in 1997 by Commissioner Stern for Effingham B. Sutton (1817–1891), the entrepreneur who developed this neighborhood.