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Dutch Kills Playground

Dutch Kills Playground

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

Dutch Kills Playground shares its name with the adjacent school and the neighborhood in northwestern Queens. "Kill" is a Dutch word which means "little stream," and the area takes its name from the 1643 Dutch settlement near the "kill" that flowed south to Newtown Creek. A small village surrounded by outlying farms developed here during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Urban development and industrialization caught up with the rural hamlet in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Long Island Rail Road arrived in 1861, and several factories opened in the area. Dutch Kills joined Astoria Village, Hunter’s Point, Ravenswood, Middletown, and Blissville (now Sunnyside) to form Long Island City in 1870. The Queensboro Bridge, opened in 1909, directly linked the community to Manhattan.

Parks acquired this land as a site for a new playground in 1946. Plans had been drawn up for the new property in 1945, but construction was delayed. The City later decided to use the site for both a new school building and playground. The Dutch Kills School, P.S. 112, welcomed its first pupils in 1952, and the playground opened to the public in 1954. The playground was called Crescent Street Playground for the street to its west, and later became Dutch Kills Playground to honor the neighborhood.

Dutch Kills Playground is jointly operated by the Department of Education and Parks.Between 1995 and 1998 four major capital projects improved the park, including a renovated asphalt ballfield, new roller rink, improved backstops, and upgraded playground equipment.

The playground features a Dutch decorative theme that honors the European colonists that settled in New York (then New Amsterdam) in the 17th century. A windmill-shaped spray shower, painted murals of Dutch river scenes, a colored concrete map of New York City, and eight medallions depicting plants and native wildlife are all part of the design of Dutch Kills Playground.

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