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Bayside Fields

Bayside Fields

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

In 1887, the property known today as Bayside Fields was acquired by a family-run real estate group, Cord-Meyer Development Company. Over the next two decades, Cord-Meyer played a significant role in the development of Queens by laying out streets, introducing utilities, and building a dense grid of single family homes. In early 1931, the Bayside Golf Corporation was formed to serve what was by then a flourishing middle-class community. By March, construction on the Bayside Golf Club was well underway.

The new course was plotted in 1932 by Alister Mackenzie (1870-1934), one of the greatest golf course architects in the history of the game. MacKenzie designed Bayside just before heading south to Georgia to lay out America’s most famous golf course, Augusta National. His intricate, well-manicured Bayside course attracted some of the era’s most famous athletes, including Yankee slugger Babe Ruth. A golf enthusiast in the baseball off-season, Ruth called Bayside his favorite course.

After World War II, mounting development pressure and highway building doomed many golf courses in outer-borough New York City. In 1936, Queens boasted 15 privately-operated courses; by 1952, every last one of these recreational landscapes had vanished. Bayside was among the last. Sold to real estate developer Jack Parker (1915-2007) in 1956, the site was subdivided for a 600-unit tract-housing development, Bayside County Club Homes. The links at Bayside remained open to the public until September of that year. Acquired by the City shortly thereafter, in 1960 the Department of Education sought bids for construction of nearby Bayside High School’s first athletic field, which borders the park.

In 2002, Take the Field, Inc. – a non-profit organization dedicated to rebuilding school athletic facilities throughout the city – joined with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall to improve to the neighboring Bayside High School Athletic Complex’s running track, bleachers, and handball courts and construct a multi-use football and soccer field.

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