Bounded by Arnold Street, Clyde Place, Prospect Avenue, and Harvard Avenue, this park takes its name from its breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline. Lower Manhattan is most prominent, but on a clear day, a large portion of the island is visible. A portion of Skyline Park stands 206 feet above sea level, making it one of the highest parks in the city.
Skyline Park began to take shape in 1938 when Parks acquired two separate parcels of land (totaling 0.665 acre) on the northeastern and southwestern sides of Arnold Street. During the next decade, Parks opened and maintained these two properties as distinct parklands. In 1977, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development constructed a tot lot at the intersection of Clyde Place and Arnold Street, adjacent to P.S. 17. A local community group, the Cottages Hill Civic Association, took responsibility for the tot lot, maintaining and cleaning it, and sponsoring neighborhood events.
Unfortunately, one year after the tot lot opened, P.S. 17 caught on fire and burned down. The loss of the school, however, was the park’s gain. In 1986, Parks moved to acquire the entire block, which included the site of P.S. 17, its schoolyard, and the tot lot. Parks intended to combine these properties with its two other neighborhood parklands to form a much larger park. After negotiating with the Board of Education, Parks assumed control over the block, mapping it as parkland in 1993. In preparation for the park’s development, portions of Arnold Street and Harvard Avenue were discontinued and added to the new park that same year.
A $1.35 million renovation of the park began in 1993. This project involved the installation of new play equipment with safety surfacing, tennis courts, benches, a picnic area, pavements, curbs, fencing, drainage and water supply, and reinforced concrete walls. The park was relandscaped with new trees, shrubs, ground cover, and lawns. In November 1994, the new parkland opened as Cottages Hill-Brighton Park. Two years later, recognizing the spectacular hilltop view that the parkland offered, Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern renamed it Skyline Park.
Today, the Cottages Hill Tenant Association, the successor of the Cottages Hill Civic Association, continues to help Parks by mowing the park lawn, opening and closing the gates on a daily basis, and raising money for needed park improvements. They organize community events, such as an annual tea party, in the park.