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Ferry Point Park

Ferry Point Park

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

With a dramatic vista of the East River and Westchester Creek, this large park is approximately half the size of Central Park. Though Ferry Point Park has grown in area by landfill, the original parcel of 171 acres first came under Parks jurisdiction in 1937. It was purchased by the city from the Roman Catholic House of the Good Shepherd in proceedings for acquiring land for the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge. The parcel was called Old Ferry and was located at the confluence of Westchester Creek and the Baxter Creek Inlet (later filled).

The land on which Ferry Point Park was built was part of the Throgmorton Grant of 1642, and it was farmed by a series of families through the next two centuries. In 1850 the land was purchased by shipping magnate Augustus diZerega and the tobacco manufacturer Jacob Lorillard. It was then sold to the Catholic House of the Good Shepherd in 1916. The park was named for the ferries that traveled between the Bronx and Queens, from Westchester Village to Whitestone and from Clason Point to College Point. At least two operators, the Twin City Ferry Company and the City of New York, administered ferries along the latter route from 1910 to 1939.

With the construction of bridges and tunnels linking the city's many islands and mainland, the ferries were put out of operation. When the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge was opened in 1939, ferry service between Clason Point and College Point ferry was discontinued. With many acres to develop and numerous shade-giving European Beech trees outlining the parkland, the site of Ferry Point Park has great potential. In the 1930s New York City Parks Commissioner Robert Moses planned a beach, bathhouse, and cafeteria complex with a bus terminal and parking field here. Unfortunately, the plan was never implemented. In 1948 two park additions totaling 243 acres were acquired by condemnation. Sanitation began filling in 1952, and continued for the following eighteen years. With the Golf Course, Community Park and Waterfront Park, this former landfill will be remediated into a premier parks attraction.

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