Wood Park, located in the South Bronx neighborhood of Parkchester, honors one of New York’s most controversial mayors, Fernando Wood (1812-1881).
Born on June 14, 1812 in Philadelphia, Wood moved to New York City to launch a successful career as a real estate speculator. At the age of 29, he won a seat in the U.S. Congress (1841-1843). At the end of his term, Wood returned to the business world where he garnered numerous business and governmental contacts over a short period, enabling him to bypass the corrupt machinations of New York’s dominant political machine, Tammany Hall (1855-1932). To Tammany’s chagrin, Wood successfully ran for mayor as a member of the Democratic Party in 1855. Wood served out his two-year term, but later lost reelection to Daniel Tiemann (1805-1899).