H. Jacob “Jack” Breininger (1894-1979), a local figure who devoted much time and effort to the betterment of his community, lived on nearby Lyman Street. Breininger created the Creedmoor Civic Association, which he presided over from 1936 until 1963, to raise awareness of local issues. He also served as a delegate to the 105th Precinct Community Council and to the Eastern Queens Civil Council, which he co-founded. Breininger created the civic association’s newsletter, The Creedmoor Civic News, which he edited for 40 years. He was also president of the Queens Village-Bellerose Kiwanis, a member of the American Legion for 59 years, and he played an important part in the construction of nearby Martin Van Buren High School in 1955.
Breininger Park is situated in the Bellerose neighborhood in Queens, which is part of the large Jamaica land grant from Peter Stuyvesant (1610-1672), Director General of New Netherland (as New York City was then known). English settlers first came here in 1656. Following the British defeat of the Dutch, the area joined Queens County in 1683, and, until the early 20th century, the Bellerose area was largely farmland known as “Little Plains.”
The name of this neighborhood comes from the achievements of Helen Marsh, an entrepreneur from Massachusetts who built a model community and a railroad station in western Nassau, calling it Bellerose. The area adopted the same name as it expanded during the building boom of the 1920s, aided by Marsh’s construction of a railway station here on the Long Island Rail Road line in 1911.
The City acquired Breininger Park by condemnation on April 28, 1938. It is bounded by Braddock Avenue to the north, 240th Street to the east, and Fairbury Avenue to the south. Originally known locally as Braddock Park, the property was renamed for Breininger less than a year after his death by a bill sponsored by Council Member Sheldon S. Leffler in September 1980. Mayor Giuliani allocated $147,960 for a 2000 renovation of the play equipment. Today the park features a large concrete play area, benches, four handball courts, one full-size basketball court, play equipment, safety surfacing, swings and two comfort stations. Pin oaks (Quercus palustris) line the perimeter of the play area.