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Important Winter Storm-Related Service Changes

New York City parks are now open. We continue to urge caution in parks under wintry conditions: parks paths can be slippery, snow cover can cover frozen lakes and bodies of water, and branches may have fallen. If you see a fallen branch call 311.

Some recreation centers will open from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. today with limited staffing.

For more information, please visit our Storm Update page.

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

First Park

Houston St., E. 1 St., 1 Ave.

Manhattan

Directions via Google Maps

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

This playground is named for its location on East First Street and First Avenue. It first opened in 1935, and was a typical product of the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) initiative to create recreational areas in the City. Following a period of neglect, this park was reclaimed by a series of neighborhood organizations working with City officials to once again provide a welcome respite from the surrounding traffic.

From 1865 to 1895, as the population of the city doubled and children increasingly teemed on the streets, leading reformers lobbied for the creation of a new kind of small park for children –the playground. The earliest playgrounds in New York City, called "sand gardens," appeared in the 1880s on the grounds of settlement houses. Furnished with innovative play equipment such as seesaws, and staffed by trained recreation specialists, the playground was designed to be a "healthful influence upon morals and conduct."

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First Park

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First Park Weather

  • Tue
    Chance Snow
    26°F
  • Wed
    Becoming Sunny
    30°F
  • Thu
    Increasing Clouds
    33°F
  • Fri
    Chance Light Snow
    34°F

7-day forecast

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