Jackie Robinson Park
Bradhurst Av and Edgecombe Av, W 145 St To
Directions via Google Maps
The Daily Plant : Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Jackie Robinson Park Is February’s Park Of The Month
A park for all seasons, Jackie Robinson Park features ten blocks of recreational amenities and is one of the four Historic Harlem Parks. The park is noted for its strong connection with the community thanks to users who frequent the pool, recreation center, sports fields, and performance area. Within the park is a memorial to all-star athlete Jackie Robinson, who is honored as an inspiration to young people both on and off the field.
“Thanks to endless opportunities for recreation, Jackie Robinson Park is one of the city’s most beloved neighborhood parks,” said Commissioner Benepe. “During Black History Month, I encourage all New Yorkers to take a stroll along the park’s tree-lined paths and visit the monument to the great Jackie Robinson inside the park’s recreation center – in athletics and beyond, Jackie Robinson is a hero to us all.”
Like its namesake, the park has brought the community together for recreation. Originally built as a neighborhood playground to encourage organized play for local children, it was one of the ten original city parks to receive a pool in 1936. A recreation center was created the same year, and is now equipped with traditional cardiovascular equipment, a weight room, and a gymnasium. The recreation center also boasts a library, Computer Resource Center, and an arts and crafts room, among other features. Annual membership to this and all city recreation centers costs $75 for adults, $10 for seniors and is free to youth under 18.
Outside, the park’s amenities abound. Two baseball diamonds, basketball courts, volleyball courts, and two playgrounds, one with a water play area, provide residents with spots to compete and play. Continuing in the park’s theme of “play,” a bandshell hosts scores of concerts throughout the warm season, keeping Harlem’s tradition of fostering local music alive and well. The bandshell’s seating area received a $400,000 facelift in January. The park has also seen recent improvements to its sidewalks, fencing, curbs and landscaping.
Jackie Robinson Park was acquired by the City of New York between 1894 and 1899 and opened as a playground in 1911. Originally called Colonial Park, its construction was part of a nationwide reform effort to provide organized play to children in inner cities. In the 1930s, Parks utilized the resources of the Works Progress Administration to further improve the park. Parks architect Aymar Embury II designed an additional playground, basketball and volleyball courts, roller skating areas, and a wading pool. The opening of the Colonial Park Pool, one of ten pools completed in 1936 by Robert Moses, attracted an audience of 25,000 people.
A bronze bust of Jackie Robinson by Inge Hardison was installed inside the pool and recreation center entryway at West 147th Street and Bradhurst Avenue in 1981. The park was renamed for Jackie Robinson in 1978 under a local law introduced by Councilmember Fred Samuel and signed by Mayor Edward I. Koch.
On April 15, 1947, Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson made history as the first African-American to play in a major league baseball game. Robinson went on to lead the Dodgers, as a second baseman, to six World Series appearances. He retired in 1956 with a lifetime batting average of .311. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. Robinson then became involved with a number of black-owned community enterprises. He was also active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and served as a special assistant to Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.”
(1919 – 1972)
Directions to Jackie Robinson Park
- Future Of Recreation Center Is Bright And Green
- Parks Cuts Ribbon on Renovated Bandshell at Jackie Robinson Park
- Historic Bandshell Renovated at Jackie Robinson Park
- Baseball Fields
- Basketball Courts
- Recreation Centers
- Spray Showers
- Volleyball Courts
- Water Fountains
Know when to go:
View upcoming athletic area usage