Ferry Point Park

Ferry Point Park

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

What was here before?

Ferry Point Park was built on land that was purchased in 1643 by early English settler John Throckmorton (1601-1684) from the Governor of New Netherland. The Throggs Neck neighborhood in the Bronx is named for Throckmorton. The land was farmed by a series of families through the nineteenth century until it was purchased by shipping magnate Augustus di Zerega (1803-1888) and the Lorillard family in 1850. It was then sold to the Catholic House of the Good Shepherd in 1916. The NYC Department of Sanitation operated a landfill on the park’s east side from 1952 to 1970.

How did this site become a park?

This coastal park, about half the size of Central Park, was created through a combination of land purchase and reclamation. The original parcel of 171 acres first came under NYC Parks’ jurisdiction in 1937. It was purchased by the city from the Roman Catholic House of the Good Shepherd in proceedings for acquiring land for the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge. The parcel was called Old Ferry and was located at the confluence of Westchester Creek and the Baxter Creek Inlet (later filled).

The property’s striking waterfront location and natural features held great promise for park development. In the 1930s, there were ambitious plans for a beach, bathhouse, and cafeteria complex with a bus terminal and parking field. When the west side of the park opened in 1941, the design had been scaled back and included a comfort station, baseball diamonds, an overlook, and picnic areas. In 1948, two park additions totaling 243 acres were acquired by condemnation. The land formerly occupied by the landfill was added to the park.

An 18-hole golf course designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus was completed in 2015, using land from the former landfill that was regraded. It was the first golf course built within New York City limits in 35 years. Reconstruction of the surrounding park at that time included new ballfields, bicycle and pedestrian pathways, basketball courts, and a comfort station. A new comfort station was added to the park’s western side in 2018, and in 2020 the construction of a waterfront walkway and saltwater marsh was completed.

Ferry Point Park contains one and a half miles of prime waterfront. Bisected by the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge and the Hutchinson River Parkway, this Bronx park is easily accessible by car from Manhattan, Queens, and Westchester.

What is this park named for?

The park was named for the many ferries that traveled between the Bronx and Queens, from Westchester Village to Whitestone and from Clason Point to College Point. At least two operators, the Twin City Ferry Company and the City of New York, administered ferries along the latter route from 1910 to 1939. With the construction of bridges and tunnels linking the city’s many islands to the mainland, the ferries were put out of operation. When the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge was opened in 1939, ferry service between Clason Point and College Point was discontinued. Ferry service returned to the Bronx in 2018 with a landing at nearby Clason Point Park.

Directions to Ferry Point Park

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