Bath Beach Park

Bath Beach Park

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

What was here before?

This area was a quiet farming community before the Brooklyn, Bath, and Coney Island Railroad line opened in 1862, connecting South Brooklyn to Manhattan. This allowed for a convenient commute for New York City high society to the shoreline of Bath Beach which boasted yacht clubs and villas. Bath Beach also had the Bath House resort, opened by Doctors Barley, Rogers, Tillery, and Bard in the late 18th century near Gravesend Bay, a popular destination for convalescents.

In the 1880s, real estate magnate James Lynch bought 350 acres of farmland from the Benson family and incorporated it into his planned suburb of Bensonhurst-by-the-Sea. Present-day Bath Beach stretches north from Gravesend Bay to 86th Street and east from 14th Avenue to Bay Parkway.

How did this site become a park?

NYC Parks acquired the site in 1937 by condemnation. A large-scale rehabilitation was completed in 1984 with the assistance of the Bath Beach Community Improvement Association. Later renovations brought modular play equipment with safety surfacing, new chess tables, cast iron water fountains with wheelchair accessibility, and circular tree pits. An oceanic theme was designed into the reconstruction with a crab animal-art spray shower.

Who is this park named for?

This park is named for the surrounding neighborhood of Bath Beach.

In 2001, the walkway in the center of the park was named after Joseph Pezzuto, (1937-1999), a lifelong Brooklyn resident, founder of the Bath Beach Community Improvement Association and former head of the Bath Avenue Merchants Association. In his role as a civic leader, Pezzuto organized public events in the park in partnership with NYC Parks. The walkway parallels 17th Avenue through the park towards Shore Parkway and separates the playground area from the softball field and basketball and handball courts.

Another local civic leader honored in this park is Victor V. Allegretti (1931-2003), President of the Bayside Fuel Corporation, former American Legion County Commander, and dedicated member of the Bensonhurst community. Victor and his younger brother Alfred grew their father’s one-truck oil delivery company into one of the biggest fuel distributors on the East Coast. Allegretti gave back to his community though his involvement with the American Legion, Kiwanis Club, and Community Board 11. The ballfield was named after Allegretti in 2004.

Directions to Bath Beach Park

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