Green Central Knoll

Green Central Knoll Playground

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

What was here before?

This was once the site of the Rheingold Brewery. In 1855, Samuel Liebmann, a German immigrant, founded its forerunner, Liebmann Breweries, which his sons took over upon his death in 1872. The sons expanded the business, buying and consolidating several smaller brewing companies, and in the 1880s, Rheingold became the company’s premier brand. The firm continued to grow, and between 1940 and 1965 it ran a famous promotional beauty contest, in which customers cast ballots to select Miss Rheingold.

Despite its glamorous image, the brewery was unable to compete with a national spirits trade that boasted massive advertising budgets, state-of-the-art facilities, and national distribution systems. In 1964, the Liebmann family sold the brewery to Pepsi-Cola United Bottlers. Sales continued to decline, and it was sold to Chock Full O’Nuts in 1974. The Brooklyn factory closed in 1976, and in 1977, the Rheingold Brewery was bought by C. Schmidt and Sons, a Philadelphia firm who soon left the business.

How did this site become a playground?

After the factory closed, it was taken over by the City for non-payment of taxes in 1979 and was designated for commercial development in 1980. However, the property’s proximity to P.S. 145, combined with local demand for a ballfield, dictated otherwise. In 1997, the Department of Citywide Administration Services assigned the property to Parks, who developed the site.

The playground design reflects a nautical theme with a Parks flag perched on a yardarm and mast located at the highest point. Water runs from this area through a rocky stream bed. The stream has brass casts of fish, such as perch, trout and bass. The stream meanders downward to the park’s lower end where the water pours into a catch basin adjacent to an area adorned with spray showers.

Who is this playground named for?

Green Central Knoll Playground’s name is a play on words on three adjoining streets that bound it: Evergreen Avenue, Central Avenue, and Knoll Street. Evergreen was so named because it led to the Cemetery of the Evergreens. Central drew its name from its once-central location within the community, while Knoll was named after a local businessman, Henry Noll.

Park Information

Directions to Green Central Knoll

  • Green Central Knoll
  • Green Central Knoll
  • Green Central Knoll
  • Green Central Knoll

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