Bell Tower Park
Riverdale Ave., Henery hudson Pkwy., W. 239 St.
Directions via Google Maps
Parks named this land on June 18, 1987 in honor of the site’s prominent 500-ton tower and Spanish bell, cast in 1762 for a Mexican monastery. General Winfield Scott (1786-1866) captured this bell during the Mexican War (1846 to 1848). Born in Petersburg, Virginia and a veteran of the War of 1812, Scott was appointed general-in-chief of the United States Army in 1841. Six years later he was named commander of American forces in the Mexican War, where he lead his troops to victory at Veracruz, Cerro Gordo, and Chapultepec. When the bell was first brought back to New York City, it was housed at a fire look-out at Jefferson Market in Greenwich Village. It was later moved to a Riverdale firehouse, where it tolled daily at 8 a.m., noon, and 9 p.m., until it was installed it in its current tower in 1930. Originally located about 700 feet to the north, both tower and bell were moved to the newly constructed Henry Hudson Parkway in 1936.