Louis C. Moser Playground
This park is named to honor the achievements of Jackson Heights community activist Louis C. Moser (1904-1983). Moser is best remembered for the creation of the North Queens Home Owners’ Civic Association located in Jackson Heights, founded in 1941 with only ten families. The group focused its efforts on preserving the residential character of northern Queens by preventing over-development and defending the rights and interests of homeowners. Moser also promoted both pedestrian and motorist safety in Jackson Heights; he successfully petitioned for the installation of safety lighting on sidewalks and traffic lights in his community. By the time of Moser’s death, 700 families belonged to the North Queens Homeowners Civic Association. Throughout his 42 years of civic service, Moser staunchly supported the proliferation and maintenance of parks and playgrounds in Jackson Heights.
In January 1953, Bulova Watch Company Inc. presented this 1.5-acre property to the City of New York as a gift to be used by Parks. It was named Bulova Park in honor of its corporate donor. In 1875, Joseph Bulova, a 23-year-old Czech immigrant, founded a small jewelry company in Manhattan. In 1911, Bulova began making boudoir and desk clocks as well as pocket watches, which sold in large numbers. During the First World War, soldiers recognized the convenience of wristwatches. The timepiece quickly became fashionable and in 1919 Bulova offered the first full line of men’s designer wristwatches. A ladies line of diamond wristwatches soon followed. The company offered the world’s first clock radio in 1928, and aired the first American television commercial, which preceded a 1941 Brooklyn Dodgers game. During the Second World War, Bulova designed military timepieces, aeronautical instruments, and torpedo mechanisms and fuses. In 1951, Bulova Watch Company Inc. moved from Manhattan to its present-day Jackson Heights headquarters. During the 1950s, the company developed the world’s first digital timepieces. Bulova’s digital timepieces became integral devices for 46 United States space missions ranging from Vanguard I (1958) to the Apollo 11 (1969) moonwalk. The Bulova Watch Company Inc. continues to manufacture its various timepieces in Jackson Heights.
Moser Park is located on 77th Street and 25th Avenue. In 1984, a Local Law sponsored by City Council Member Peter Vallone renamed the property Louis C. Moser Park. In June 1987, the name was simplified to Moser Park. In October 1996, Moser Park received a $238,000 renovation sponsored by Queens Borough President Claire Shulman. In November 1999, City Council Member Peter F. Vallone sponsored a $102,000 renovation. The park’s most outstanding facility is the handicap accessible softball field. The field, which is the only one of its kind in Queens, features wider bases and base paths modified for wheelchair access. The park also contains swings, sitting areas, several full basketball courts, handball courts, a boccie court, and play equipment.