Tappen Park In Staten Island Named January Park Of The MonthFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 9, 2009
Stapleton is one of Staten Island’s most historic districts and served as a vibrant commercial and tourist destination during the 19th century. The neighborhood still contains some brick row houses from that time, with stores on the first floor and living quarters above. In recent years, the area has undergone an economic revitalization, attracting residents and tourists for shopping. After a recent $1.53 million renovation project funded by Council Member Michael McMahon, Tappen Park was re-opened in October 2008 to serve as a community gathering spot for the bustling shoppers and visitors to Stapleton.
“Thanks to a recent $1.53 million renovation funded by Council Member Michael McMahon, Tappen Park has been transformed to have the look and feel of an old-fashioned town square that you might find in New England,” said Commissioner Benepe. “Stapleton is an area with a great mix of a commercial, retail and residential buildings, so getting the community out to the parks also benefits nearby businesses as Staten Islanders walk and gather here. Since its re-opening in October, Tappen Park has become the centerpiece of this vibrant community.”
The new renovations to Tappen Park include landscaping, new pathways, decorative steel perimeter fences, and an ornamental water fountain. At the opening ceremony Commissioner Benepe and Council Member McMahon pulled a lever to start the water in the fountain flowing, and the celebration was followed by a German Oktoberfest sponsored by Partnerships for Parks. The event featured authentic German food and drinks, as well as entertainment from a traditional German Oompah band. The Oktoberfest was surely just the first of many informal gatherings and events to be held at the park.
In July 1934, Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia (1882-1947) named this park in honor of James J. Tappen, who served in the U.S. Army during World War I. Tappen was killed on September 29, 1918, at Binarville, France, in the Battle of Argonne. Before its re-naming, local residents called the park Stapleton Park, for the surrounding neighborhood, though it had officially been known as Washington Square since 1867.
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