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The African American Experience 

Pelham Fritz at the Arsenal


Description:Courtesy of New York City Parks Photo Archive, Neg. 60026. Born in Trinidad, Pelham Fritz (1920-1988) moved to Harlem at age seven and frequented Mount Morris (now Marcus Garvey) Park. Fritz, who eventually rose to the rank of assistant…more.

Pelham Fritz at the Arsenal

Courtesy of New York City Parks Photo Archive, Neg. 60026. Born in Trinidad, Pelham Fritz (1920-1988) moved to Harlem at age seven and frequented Mount Morris (now Marcus Garvey) Park. Fritz, who eventually rose to the rank of assistant commissioner of recreation at the Parks Department, began his recreation career at a City juvenile detention center. Known for his gentle optimism and his strong leadership, Fritz gained his first job with Parks as an athletic coach at the Hamilton Houses Playground, and he was one of the original organizers of the celebrated Holcombe Rucker Community Basketball League. In addition to his Parks career, Fritz was active in the Harlem YMCA, the Abyssinian Baptist Church, and the Children's Aid Society, and received 102 plaques or citations during his life for community service. The recreation center in Marcus Garvey Park was named for him shortly after his death in 1988, and a housing facility at 21 West 118th Street also bears his name.

Location: Central Park, Manhattan
Date: August 20, 1986

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