DeSalvio Playground

Spring St. and Mulberry St.


Directions via Google Maps

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

This park honors two generations of leaders in New York City’s Italian-American community ”“ John DeSalvio (1881-1948), and his son Louis (1910-2004). John DeSalvio was a first-generation American; his parents, Luigi DeSalvio and Maria Rosa Vozzo, were both born in Italy. John was raised on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, where he became interested in boxing at an early age after watching fights in local clubs. The majority of prizefighters at that time were Irish, so John adopted the name of his manager, Jimmy Kelly, when he began to compete. He became a local welterweight champion, but never achieved national success in the ring. Following the conclusion of his boxing career, John opened a saloon just down the street from 202 Hester Street, where he lived most of his adult life. In 1910, he married Stella Formachelli and their marriage produced his son Louis and two daughters, Lillian and Viola. As the owner of a successful business and a family man, Joh…

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Directions to DeSalvio Playground

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