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Francis Lewis Park

The Daily Plant : Wednesday, January 17, 2007

A Park Fitting Of A Founding Father


Daniel Avila

Tucked beneath the Queens side of the Whitestone Bridge is the quaint waterfront paradise called Francis Lewis Park. The park, which is bordered by Third Avenue, 147th Street, the East River, and Parsons Boulevard, has been named January’s Park of the Month.

“Francis Lewis Park is an idyllic neighborhood park that offers picturesque views of the East River and the Whitestone Bridge,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Although his home in Whitestone was burned by the British in 1776, the legacy of this patriotic merchant lives on Francis Lewis Park.”

The waterfront park, which Parks acquired in 1937 from the private estate of Edwin H. Brown, consists of 9.2 acres above water and 7.6 acres below water. The Whitestone Bridge arches over the western side of the property while the East River laps against the sandy shore to the north. The park has winding paths that lead to scenic overlooks with spectacular views of the bridge and the East River—scenery that many choose as the backdrop for their wedding photos. Benches dot the edges of the pathways and offer a place to rest and enjoy the park.

Although most take advantage of the passive recreational opportunities such as sunbathing in the open lawn or enjoying the views, the park also has opportunities for more active recreation. There is an active bocce group who uses the bocce court, as well as a playground, a spray shower, four handball courts, two half basketball courts, and a comfort station.

The park is named in honor of Francis Lewis (1713-1802), an early American merchant, patriot, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. Lewis accumulated great wealth in the trading business and retired to Whitestone in 1765. His political career began in 1774, when he served as a New York delegate to the Provincial Convention. The convention elected Lewis to the Continental Congress, where he served from 1775 to 1779. On July 4, 1776, Lewis signed the Declaration of Independence.

Park of the Month introduces some our greatest parks and greenspaces to curious New Yorkers and visitors alike. For additional information, including panorama images of Francis Lewis Park, please visit our website at www.nyc.gov/parks.


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Snore and you sleep alone.”

Anthony Burgess
(1917 – 1993)

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