Mount Hope Playground
The neighborhood of Mount Hope is characterized by nothing larger than a hill. The hill and surrounding land were once the property of the prominent Morris family. Lewis Morris (1726-1798) and Mary Walton (c.1726-1794) had 12 children, including Captain William Walton Morris (1760-1832), who served as an aide-de-camp to General Anthony Wayne (1745-1796) in the American Revolution (1776-1783). One of their descendents, Gerard Walton Morris, the probable namesake of Walton Avenue, inherited much of the family’s Bronx land.
Remaining largely farmland until 1841, the area rapidly developed into the center of a village when the Harlem Railroad opened a station. In the 1850s Postmaster Hiram Tarbox named the town Tremont, after the three major hills in the area, Fairmount, Mount Eden, and Mount Hope. Mount Hope lies along Tremont Avenue, bounded to the west by the Grand Concourse.
Mount Hope Playground, at the corner of Walton Avenue and East 177th Street, was conditionally assigned to Parks on December 19, 1989 by the Department of Real Property. The assignment was made permanent in 1993. At that time, Parks replaced interim prefabricated equipment with a long-term facility. With the aid of $780,000 in funding secured by Borough President Fernando Ferrer, Parks designed and constructed a playground with two basketball courts, colorful modular play equipment, a spray shower, wood and steel benches, game tables, and a variety of plantings.