The name of this playground, and the adjacent street, honor Tunis Joralemon’s (1760-1840) prized garden.
Joralemon, a New Jersey native, worked as a harness and saddle maker. In 1803, he purchased his estate from Philip Livingston. Thereafter, he spent much of his time cultivating vegetables in his garden. The sale of these, and of dairy products, became his primary source of income. Outspoken and opinionated, Joralemon was active in church and civic affairs. He fought bitterly to prevent the encroachment of public roads through his property, but at his death, Henry and Clinton Streets already crossed his land, and more soon followed. Joralemon Street, which borders the property, was actually laid out before he came to the area, but it took on his name in the years that he lived there.
Garden Playground, on Flushing Avenue between Garden and Beaver Streets, is jointly owned and operated by Parks and the Board of Education. The lot, which had contained three-story frame houses in the early part of the 20th century, was approved for park use in 1962. The playground opened in 1968 as the P.S. 120 Playground. In 1987, it was renamed, the name clearly inspired by Garden Street.
The playground is two-tiered, with ball courts on the upper level closer to the school, and the lower area filled with benches, play structures, and toddler play equipment. Basketball courts, a spray shower and many other features receive almost constant use from the active students.