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Bronx Park

Ranaqua

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

Ranaqua, the Bronx headquarters of NYC Parks, is located in the southeastern part of Bronx Park, east of the northbound lanes of the Bronx River Parkway. The name is the Reckgawank Algonquin (Delaware) word for “End Place,” the peninsula originally sold to Jonas Bronck in 1639. 

Bronx Park, like the surrounding borough and the river that runs through it, is named for the 17th-century Swedish sea captain who settled the area, Jonas Bronck (1600-1643). After Bronck, this property passed through several different families before the city acquired 640 acres of it between December 1888 and January 1889. The inspiration for Bronx Park came during a widespread movement to create public parks throughout the city in the 1880s. The City of New York allotted another 250 acres to the New York Zoological Society in 1898 to build a park to preserve native animals and promote zoology. In 1906, the city acquired another 66 acres on the southeastern end of this property where Ranaqua is located. The three-story brick building, with its adjacent garages, yards, and shops, was built by the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) and opened by Robert Moses in 1937, and remains NYC Parks’ Bronx headquarters.

Directions to Bronx Park

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