Hallets Cove Playground

Hallets Cove Playground

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

What was here before?

Hallets Point is a knob-shaped peninsula at the westernmost tip of Queens, framed by Pot Cove on the north and Hallett’s Cove on the south. Hallets Point was initially the commercial center of Astoria and featured a ferry terminal. By the early 20th century this site had become a scrap metal dumping ground and was surrounded by a mixture of industrial buildings, apartments, and single-family homes, some dating to the 18th century. Following the completion of the elevated Astoria Line in 1917 and the Triborough Bridge in 1936, many businesses relocated to be closer to these transportation hubs. Ferry service ended in 1936. Subsequently, the City designated the peninsula a “slum” to allow it to be cleared for the Astoria Houses, a public housing complex that opened in 1948.

How did this site become a playground?

Plans for Hallets Cove Playground were developed in conjunction with the construction of the Astoria Houses. As part of this project, waterfront properties along Hallets Cove were condemned by the city in favor of a shoreline park that includes two playgrounds, handball courts, basketball courts, two paved baseball fields, and a canoe launch. The land was vested to the City of New York in 1946 and transferred to NYC Parks in 1949. This site was originally named Astoria Houses Playground.

In a project completed in portions in 2013, the Queens East River and North Shore Greenway linked this playground to other Queens waterfront parks to the north and south, including Astoria Park, Queensbridge Park, Rainey Park, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Ralph DeMarco Park. The Greenway is a shared-access trail that runs along the Queens shoreline.

In 2019, the playground was upgraded with new game tables, surfacing, play equipment, and a spray shower area. The seawall that runs west and then north from the playground was repaired and partially reconstructed in 2021. The handball courts and multipurpose synthetic turf fields were rebuilt in 2023.

What is this playground named for?

In 1987, the playground was renamed Hallets Cove Playground. This cove was named after William Hallet (1616-1706), a dissident Puritan who married Elizabeth Feake after she was abandoned by her previous husband, who was also Hallet’s business partner. The scandalous union forced the couple to leave Connecticut and in 1659 they established their home at Hallet’s Neck.

Park Information

Directions to Hallets Cove Playground

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