May 2004 - Capital Project of the Month
Matthews Muliner Park
Project Manager/Designer: Randee Stewart
Contract Documents/Specs: Blumberg & Butter, P.C. Gray Water
Design Team: George Langer Assoc.
Consulting Engineer: Peter Williams, Ben Mulchandani, John Demenagas
Graphic Artist: Oliver Corwin
Matthews Muliner Park is approximately 1 acre and is located in Community Board 11 and Council District 13. It is located north of Morris Park Avenue between Muliner Avenue and Matthews Avenue in the Bronx and is surrounded by single-family residences.
This Council funded project will provide greatly needed recreational facilities to the surrounding community and will bring the playground into compliance with current safety standards. The Parks Department will be reconstructing a playground, two handball courts and two full basketball courts. These facilities will include new drinking fountains, spray showers, swings, seating areas and plantings.
Many of the park improvements have been inspired by the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Mondrian’s primary colors and block style paintings were integrated into the new fence design, and his windmill paintings were used as inspiration for the illustrated play equipment panels. In addition, Mondrian’s primary colors of red, blue, yellow and gray are used throughout the site.
Matthews Muliner Park is named after two historically prominent New Yorkers. David Matthews served as Mayor of New York from 1776 to 1783 during the British occupation of New York and the Revolutionary War. The British martial rule of the city overshadowed Matthew’s position and influence as a politician. Thomas Muliner (alternate spellings Mulinex, Molinex, Mallener and Molenaer) was an early 17 th century Dutch settler. Muliner’s name remains a testament to the first European inhabitants of the region, along with many other surviving Dutch names in New York City , including “ Bronx ” and “Van Nest.”
Piet Mondrian paintings
In July 1954, land was cleared between Matthews and Muliner Avenues for a new park. Parks Commissioner Robert Moses determined that the surrounding blocks lacked sufficient recreational space and a park would be appropriate for the space. A fully equipped park, complete with wading pool, and sandpit was installed in that year. Matthews-Muliner Playground features a variety of recreational facilities including a comfort station from the park’s 1954 construction, as well as handball courts, swings, slides and a spray shower for the community’s use.