What was here before?
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, this area was settled by the Weckquaesgeek. Broadway, north of 168th street St Nicholas Avenue still follows the original trail which connected lower Manhattan to Albany.
How did this site become a playground?
The City of New York acquired this site by condemnation in 1958, and the playground, jointly operated by the Board of Education (now the Department of Education) and NYC Parks, opened in 1962. Originally named P.S. 128 Playground after the adjacent school, it was renamed in 1986 to reflect the school’s new name.
This site is part of NYC Parks' Community Parks Initiative, a multi-faceted program to invest in under-resourced public parks and increase the accessibility and quality of parks throughout the five boroughs.
In 2020, the playground underwent a full reconstruction that updated existing play areas, synthetic turf, a misting station, and a bird house.
Who is this playground named for?
The playground, school, and avenue are all named for John James Audubon (1785-1851) who was known for his illustration of birds and the book, Birds of America. The Audubon Society, one of the oldest and largest conservation groups in the world, was founded in his honor in 1905.