Audubon Playground

Audubon Ave., W. 169 St. and W. 170 St.


Directions via GoogleMaps

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This Washington Heights Playground, which stands across the street from the Audubon School, stretches from 169th to 170th Streets on Audubon Avenue. The playground, school and avenue are all named for John James Audubon (1785-1851), legendary observer of nature and illustrator of birds. Born in Les Cayes, Haiti to Captain Jean Audubon, a French naval officer in command of a plantation, and Jeanne Rabine, Captain Audubon’s French mistress, Audubon moved with his father to France in 1788. As a child, Audubon was so enchanted by birds that he snuck out of the classroom to watch them. At the age of seventeen, he went to Paris to study art and one year later, in 1803, he was sent to the United States to look after his father’s new Pennsylvania estate. There he cultivated his interest in birds: painting them, hunting them and experimenting with bird banding techniques to track migration. In 1808, Audubon married Lucy Bakewell who would be his lifelong support and the mo…

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Directions to Audubon Playground

  • Audubon Playground
  • Audubon Playground
  • Audubon Playground

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