This park honors Daniel A. Haggerty (1884-1965), a Queens public servant for 18 years. Born in Brooklyn on September 13, 1884, Haggerty left school, moved to Queens, and began working for the Charles H. Eddy advertising agency. He was employed there for 43 years, eventually becoming the firm’s treasurer. While at the Eddy firm, Haggerty was elected Democratic leader of the Ninth Assembly in central Queens, and served as such for 35 years. In the early 1940s, Haggerty retired from the advertising agency and entered the Queens political arena full time.
Haggerty served as secretary to Supreme Court Justice Charles Colden from 1943 to 1956, and then as chief clerk to Queens District Attorney Frank D. O’Connor from 1956 to 1959. He was a vice-chairman of the Queens County Democratic Committee, until 1954 when he was elected Queens County Democratic leader. In 1959, Queens Borough President John T. Clancy named Haggerty sewer commissioner for Queens. Haggerty served one two-year term, and retired at the age of 77 in 1961.
For the last forty years of his life, Haggerty lived in Hollis, Queens. On November 26, 1965, he died of a heart attack in his home on 193rd Street. He was survived by his wife, Helen Henry, and three children: Father Edward G. Haggerty, Robert Haggerty, and Helen Benedict.
Haggerty Park is bounded by 201st and 204th Streets, and the south side of Jamaica Avenue. It is just north of the main Queens line of the Long Island railroad in Hollis. On June 3, 1953, the City of New York acquired the land by condemnation and transferred it to Parks. In 1955, Mayor Robert F. Wagner provided $183,600 for the demolition of the one-story commercial building on the site, and the construction of the playground.
The playground opened to the public on April 19, 1956. A local law named it Daniel A. Haggerty Park in 1967. In 1981, Mayor Edward I. Koch sponsored the total reconstruction of the park. Renovations included the addition of one new basketball court and one new baseball field, and the renovation of the existing basketball and handball courts, ball fields, and bleachers. New play equipment, sitting areas, spray showers, benches, pavements, curbs, trees, additional greenery, water fountains, and water supply system were also installed. In 1999, Council Member Archie Spigner provided $565,000 for improvements to the park. In addition, he sponsored a $617,000 renovation of the play equipment, asphalt, benches, and spray shower that was completed in September 2001.