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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Bowling Green

Broadway and Whitehall St.

Manhattan

Directions via Google Maps

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

Bowling Green is New York City’s oldest park. According to tradition, this spot served as the council ground for Native American tribes and was the site of the legendary sale of Manhattan to Peter Minuit in 1626. The Dutch called the area “the Plain” and used it for several purposes including a parade ground, meeting place, and cattle market. It marked the beginning of Heere Staat (High Street, now Broadway)—a trade route which extended north through Manhattan and the Bronx. In 1686, the site was designated as public property, when the City Charter put all “waste, vacant, unpatented and unappropriated lands” under municipal domain.  

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