This playground takes its name from the adjacent Pomonok Houses. Pomonok is a Native American word for the land that comprises eastern Long Island. The exact translation of Pomonok is unclear, but it means either “land of tribute” or “land where there is travelling by water.”
Pomonok Houses were built on the site of the former Pomonok Country Club. Founded in 1921, past members of the Flushing Country Club formed a land company to purchase 125 acres of farmland east of Jamaica Avenue, on which they later built an 18-hole golf course. In the 1920’s, membership to the club required purchase of $900 share of stock, an initiation fee of $250 and annual dues of $150, a substantial sum for the time.
The Pomonok Country Club existed until 1949, when stockholders voted in favor of selling the club to Local 3 of the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers for $1,238,172. Part of the land would become Electchester Homes, a model moderate-income community built by union president Harry Van Arsdale (1903-1986). Other portions of the land fell under the jurisdiction of the City Housing Authority, on which they built several developments, including Pomonok Houses.
Pomonok Houses opened on September 17, 1951 and comprised 13 three-story buildings and 22 seven-story structures. 22 World War II veterans and their families were the first to occupy the complex. In order to be eligible to live there in 1951, a family had to earn a combined income of less than $4,900 per year. Rents ranged from $57 to $83 per month. The complex included a branch of the Queens Borough Public Library, a public school, several small playgrounds, and one larger playground to be operated by Parks. In 1953, the Pomonok Community Center opened. Today the community center features a senior center, and various youth programs including a summer day camp and afterschool programs.
The City acquired the land for the Pomonok Houses by condemnation on October 25, 1949. The playground, located at Kissena Boulevard and 65th Avenue, opened on July 15, 1954 as P.S. 201 Pomonok Houses Playground, and later was renamed Pomonok Playground. The playground contains eight handball courts, four full basketball courts, a concrete baseball field complete with backstop, play equipment, a comfort station, swings, and a tree-lined sitting area. Today, residents of Pomonok Houses and the surrounding community use this extensive playground for recreation or as a place to relax.