What was here before?
This property was long part of the farmland owned by the Martense family, descended from Marten Reyersen, a farmer who emigrated from Amsterdam to this area of Brooklyn in 1646. The Martense-Story Homestead was ultimately sold at auction to settle the estates of his ancestors Rachel Martense and William and Joseph Story around 1900.
Though vacant for the next several decades, the site had four two-story, two-family brick dwellings when the property was assessed for purchase by the City of New York in 1958.
How did this site become a playground?
The City of New York acquired Albemarle Playground in 1960. Serving as the recreational facility for adjacent P.S. 230, as well as for the surrounding community, this park opened in 1961 as a Jointly Operated Playground (JOP). Beginning in 1938, the Board of Education (now the Department of Education) agreed to provide land next to schools where NYC Parks could build and maintain playgrounds that could be used by the school during the day and by the public when school is not in session.
In 1996, NYC Parks completed a major reconstruction of the playground, and in 2021 the site’s synthetic turf field and basketball court were rebuilt.
Who is this playground named for?
Albemarle Road, which runs from Flatbush Avenue to Nostrand Avenue, was originally named Ausable Avenue and was renamed Butler Street in 1897. At the turn of the century, it was fashionable to use old English names for streets and neighborhoods, including many streets in this neighborhood which is itself named after the borough of Kensington in London. In 1904, Albemarle Road was named after the street in London, which itself is named for the Duke of Albemarle. Other namesakes of Albemarle include counties in North Carolina and Virginia, as well as the largest and highest island of the Galapagos Islands, also known as Isabella Island.