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Van Cortlandt Park

The Daily Plant : Friday, October 24, 2003


The weather was brisk but the atmosphere inside Col. David Marcus Playground was filled with warmth. On Wednesday, October 22, City Council Member Simcha Felder, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe, Departments of Correction and Probation, Commissioner Martin Horn, and Parks & Recreation Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Julius Spiegel joined community members and dozens of 3rd through 5th graders from P.S. 177's Council For Unity program to break ground for the reconstruction of Col. David Marcus Playground in Midwood, Brooklyn.

The City Council allocated $1 million to revitalize this popular playground. Children will enjoy new play equipment and swings designed for toddlers and older children. The playground will have new safety surfacing and a spray shower will provide hours of fun on hot days. The entire community will enjoy the new benches and landscaped areas.

In 1948, this playground was dedicated in memory of Colonel David "Mickey" Marcus. Colonel Marcus was a dedicated civil servant, working as a junior attorney for the Treasury Department, an assistant U.S. attorney and Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction. After the outbreak of World War II, Colonel Marcus was activated into the Army and participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. He was awarded several distinguished citations for his military service.

After the war, the United Nations voted to create the independent state of Israel and Israeli officials requested that Colonel Marcus help them prepare a modern army. Serving as Supreme Commander of the Israeli forces along the Jerusalem front, Colonel Marcus was killed on June 10, 1948 by friendly fire. He was laid to rest at West Point. A bronze plaque was dedicated to Colonel David Marcus during the playground’s renaming ceremony in 1948.

The reconstruction of Col. David Marcus Playground is already well underway and weather permitting the construction is expected to be complete this winter. Project Manager Wim DeRonde is overseeing the renovations. Hicham Osman is serving as Resident Engineer and Landscape Architect Bernadette Grullon originally designed the new play space.

Alan Dubrow, Chair of Community Board 12, Stephen G. McAllister, Deputy Inspector of NYPD’s 66 Precinct, Wolf Sender, District Manager of Community Board 12, Rabbi Glanz, Administrative Chaplain for Departments of Correction and Probation, Mark Kronenberg, Chief of Staff for Assembly Member Dov Hikind and Bernard Rothenberg, Representative from Kings County Council of Jewish War Veterans, Post 129 also attended Wednesday's event.

At the groundbreaking, the crowd not only learned details about the playground, but they learned that the word Simcha means celebration in Hebrew. Soon the children and neighbors who helped break ground on Wednesday will be enjoying many more simchas at Col. David Marcus Playground.

Written by Jocelyn Aframe


This Saturday, October 25, five parks across New York City will host Newmark & Company Real Estate, Inc.’s Great New York City Halloween Party. New Yorkers can celebrate Halloween with a wide variety of free activities including parades, haunted walks, hayrides, pumpkin painting, arts & crafts, greenmarkets and live performances.

The Great New York City Halloween Party is taking place in:

Prospect Park in Brooklyn (12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx (4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.)

Central Park in Manhattan (11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

Juniper Valley Park in Queens (11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

To learn more about each borough’s festivities, please visit or call 311.


"When you have nothing to say, say nothing."

Charles Caleb Colton


Directions to Van Cortlandt Park

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