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

Haffen Park

Hammersley Ave. to Burke Ave. bet. Ely Ave. and Gunther Ave.


Directions via Google Maps

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

Louis F. Haffen (1854-1935) was the first Borough President of the Bronx. The son of a German dairy farmer and beer brewer, he was born on November 6, 1854 in Melrose, Westchester County (now the Bronx) at Courtlandt Avenue and Elton Street (now 152nd Street). Haffen attended St. John’s College (now Fordham University), Niagara College, and Columbia University, completing his education in 1879 with degrees in Civil Engineering and Law. In 1882 he went west to work in the mines of Colorado, Arizona and California, but returned to the Bronx the following year to become City Surveyor. Haffen joined the Parks Department in 1883 as an engineer and soon rose to Parks Superintendent. From 1893 to 1898, he served as Commissioner of the Department of Street Improvements for the west Bronx.

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