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Rev Lena Irons Unity Park

Unity Park

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

Unity Park is named for the community group that once owned the property, Unity Place Incorporated.

East 167th Street in the Bronx, formerly called 5th Street in old Morrisania, was a popular shopping area in the 1880s, particularly among the local German population. Parts of it were named James Street and Lyons Street after prior landowners in the area. East 168th Street was divided into three separate areas through the 19th century. A western segment of East 168th Street was called Charles Place, after Charles Arcularius, a 19th century hotel keeper, an eastern street was known as 6th Street in the village of Morrisania, and between them was William Morris’s former estate.

This park property, located between East 167th and 168th Streets on Washington Avenue, was owned by a community group, Unity Place Incorporated, who acquired the land after it went unclaimed in the late 1970s. The site was purchased by the City in 1984. In 1997 the area was granted to Parks. Shortly thereafter, Parks Commissioner Henry Stern named the site Unity Park. The park consists of an elevated grassy sitting area with green benches, and black cherry trees (Prunus serotina).

The park has recently undergone a large renovation project, including the implementation of a new drainage system. Funded by City Council Member Reverend Wendell Foster, the renovation is slated for completion by the end of 2002.

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