Breukelen Ballfields, and the neighboring Breukelen Houses, get their name from the Dutch spelling of Brooklyn. Breukelen is a small city in the Netherlands, and when Dutch pioneers first settled on Long Island (near modern-day Brooklyn Heights), they named their village after the town. The name was soon anglicized, and this park’s name serves as a reminder of our city’s Dutch origins.
Before this area of East New York was developed in the mid-20th century, the site that is now Breukelen Ballfields was a marshy extension of nearby Fresh Creek. Development largely stopped to the west at 105th Street and to the north at Stanley Avenue. The city acquired the property in 1950 for public housing, which was completed in 1952. This park was constructed at the same time, to serve the neighborhood’s new residents. The New York City Housing Authority leased the site to NYC Parks for free starting in 1957.
Over the next two decades, marshland was filled in to the south of the development, and farmland to the east was folded into the growing city. East New York became a vibrant center of housing, commerce, and industry, and its parks important spaces of leisure and sport. Formerly known as P.S. 260 Playground, Parks Commissioner Henry Stern renamed the park Breukelen Ballfields to reflect the neighboring development in 1985.
Breukelen Ballfields features baseball fields, a dog park, playground, and handball courts, among other recreational facilities. As East New York continues to grow and evolve, the park will be an asset for residents for years to come.