Elizabeth Stroud Playground

Elizabeth Stroud Playground

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

What was here before?

Once known as Bedford Corners and Stuyvesant Heights, the Dutch farmed this area during the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1790, more than one quarter of the residents were African American, the majority of them enslaved. Following the abolition of slavery in New York state in 1827, formerly enslaved persons purchased land and built homes in Bedford and the bordering neighborhoods of Weeksville and Carrville, creating some of America’s earliest free Black communities.

With the arrival of the Brooklyn and Jamaica Railroad at Atlantic Street in 1836 and the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883, these neighborhoods became more closely linked to other parts of the city. Their populations expanded in number and diversity. By the latter part of the 19th century, there were Dutch-American, Scottish, Irish, German, Jewish, and African American residents. Bedford-Stuyvesant remains a cornerstone of the city’s African American community.

How did this site become a playground?

Elizabeth Stroud Playground was administered and maintained by NYC Parks under permit from 1939 until 1975, when it was permanently assigned to NYC Parks full control of the property. It was originally named Fulton Park East, referring to the adjacent Fulton Park, which in turn was named for renowned inventor, engineer, and painter Robert Fulton (1765-1815).

Under the Fulton Park Urban Renewal Area plan of the mid-1970s, the southern boundary of Fulton Park East was extended over a discontinued portion of Marion Street to the present boundary along Fulton Street. The park, which was reconstructed in February 2000, includes play equipment with safety surfacing, benches, swings, and stately London planetrees.

Who is this playground named for?

This playground was renamed in 2000 to honor Elizabeth Stroud, who served as the first Parks Committee Chairperson for Brooklyn Community Board 3, a position she held for 20 years. Stroud resided in a stately brownstone on Hancock Street between Nostrand and Bedford Avenues and was an active member of her block association and Siloam Presbyterian Church. She served as the Secretary of Brooklyn Community Board No. 3 for many years. As Chair of the Parks Committee, she championed revitalization and stabilization through the beautification, restoration, and upkeep of neighborhood parks and playgrounds. She served her community well, always in the name of service. She was a dedicated community activist and leader, and Stroud’s largely unheralded efforts greatly assisted in the restoration of the larger community. Stroud passed away on September 20, 1995.

Park Information

Directions to Elizabeth Stroud Playground

  • Elizabeth Stroud Playground
  • Elizabeth Stroud Playground
  • Elizabeth Stroud Playground

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