Bronx Park

Waring Playground

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

What was here before?

This area was once part of the Lorillard family estate. The Lorillard Tobacco Company was established in 1760 by Pierre Lorillard (1742-1778) in a factory on Chatham Street in Manhattan. Hessians--German soldiers contracted by the British--killed Lorillard during the American Revolution. His sons Peter and George moved their company to the Bronx in 1792. Around 1840, the company constructed a water-powered snuff mill on the Bronx River. In the late 1800s, the mill produced more tobacco and snuff than any other factory in the country. The company relocated in 1891, and Parks acquired the building in 1937 for use as a restaurant in the New York Botanical Garden.

How did this site become a playground?

This playground is part of the development of property transferred in 1937 by the New York Botanical Garden to the Parks Department, and is a unit in a chain of children's recreation areas along the easterly boundaries of Bronx Park.

Th a playground opened in 1939 and had amenities that included a wading pool, sandpits, swings, and a jungle gym.

In 2022, the playground was rebuilt with water features, multigenerational play areas, and basketball courts. Surrounded by woods atop a rocky terrain, it is one of seven playgrounds within Bronx Park.

Who is this playground named for?

Waring Playground, like the nearby avenue, is named for Maria Waring, who owned land here between 1859 and 1872. She was born in 1790 in Virginia to Sarah Upshaw and Robert Payne Waring. The western end of Waring Avenue originally led to the carriage entrance of the Lorillard Snuff Mill, which is situated in what is now the New York Botanical Garden.

Directions to Bronx Park

Was this information helpful?