Little is known about Oliver Mathias Davidson for whom this playground and the adjacent Davidson Avenue are named. Davidson served as Chief Engineer of Streets from 1867 to 1872, and at one time owned land in Fordham. On a map from 1868, Kingsbridge Road, Davidson Avenue, West 190th Street, and the Veterans Hospital grounds bounded his property.
University Heights, the Bronx neighborhood in which this playground is located, is named for New York University, which occupied the 50-acre University Heights campus located at 180th Street between Sedgwick and University Avenues.
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