This small Lower East Side park is one of New York Citys oldest. On August 2, 1824, the Common Council agreed to take a triangular piece of land between Grand, Harman (now East Broadway), and Scammel Streets as a public place. The City acquired the parcel by condemnation the following year for $3158.23.
In 1870 all of New Yorks public parks, from small public squares in Lower Manhattan to the not-yet-complete Central Park, were placed under the control of the newly created Department of Public Parks. Sweeping improvements were initiated immediately. Between 1871 and 1872, Grand Street Place (as this park was then known) was surveyed and received new lampposts, plantings, curbs, water and drain pipes, and an iron railing. It was one of fourteen New York parks that featured a program of music and fireworks on Independence Day in 1873.