Bay Terrace Playground
Bay Terrace Playground
What was here before?
The area’s earliest known inhabitants were the Matinecock, a tribe of the Algonquin nation. The tribal name Matinecock, meaning “hilly country,” described the surrounding landscape, an area that may have been given to the tribe by the neighboring Lenapes. In 1639, Dutch Governor Willem Kieft (1597-1647) purchased the land that today encompasses Queens County from the Matinecock. William Lawrence (1622-1680), who served as a magistrate under Dutch and English administrations, was granted a parcel of land by King Charles II in 1645 that included a large portion of what is today Bayside, in addition to College Point, Whitestone, and Fort Totten. The extension of the North Shore Railroad in 1866 encouraged development in Bayside. Bay Terrace, originally included within the bounds of Bayside, remained composed of farms and large estates until the 1950s, when Cord and Charles Meyer sold their 225-acre farm for development.
How did this site become a playground?
In 1954, the land for this playground and adjacent school were conveyed to the City of New York by the Cord Meyer Development Company, which built two apartment buildings across the street.
This playground is a Jointly Operated Playground (JOP) serving P.S. 169 Bay Terrace School and the local community. 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.” Joint operation of this playground was approved in 1958, and the playground opened in 1962 to meet the increased needs of the school and the rapidly growing surrounding community.
The playground contains two handball courts, a basketball court, spray shower, comfort station, play equipment, and seating. In 1995, the playground’s play equipment and safety surfacing were replaced, and in 2022 the sports courts and play area were upgraded.
What is this playground named for?
NYC Parks renamed to Bay Terrace Playground in 1985, after the surrounding neighborhood. Bay Terrace takes its name from its location along the shores of Little Neck Bay.