Haym Sol. Square

Haym Salomon Square

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

Haym Salomon (1740-1785), for whom this Queens Greenstreets property is named, was a Jewish immigrant from Poland, best known for his contribution on behalf of the fledgling American nation during the Revolutionary War. A financier, he floated bonds to support the colonists and was jailed twice by the British.

After leaving his home in Lissa, Poland, in his early twenties, Salomon moved around Western Europe, eventually landing in New York City sometime in the early 1770s. An early Jewish immigrant to the American colony, Salomon became a member of the Sephardic Spanish Portuguese Synagogue on Mill Street in Manhattan. The congregation eventually evolved into Shearith Israel; its synagogue is now located at 70th Street and Central Park West. A broker by trade, Salomon bought and sold foreign currency and commodities between the Colonies and Europe.

In September 1776, New York City burned and many houses were destroyed. Believing the fire was set by Revolutionaries, the British imprisoned many, including Salomon, on arson charges. Salomon was briefly detained, along with Nathan Hale, in Provost Jail on the edge of City Hall Park. After being released, Salomon married Rachel Franks. Franks was a member of one of the original Jewish families in the Colonies and her family participated in the war effort on the side of the Revolutionaries.

After being arrested again in 1778, Salomon fled New York City for Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, Salomon assisted Robert Morris (1734-1806), the Continental Congress' Superintendent of Finance, in raising funds for the war effort. In 1785 Salomon developed tuberculosis and died destitute. He is buried at the Mikveh Israel Cemetery in Philadelphia. In 1976 a granite stele in honor of Salomon was placed by the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America to commemorate the bicentennial of the nation's independence. Council Member Morton Povman funded $44,000 in site work and improvements to the sidewalks in 1999 and Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern named the park after Salomon.

Haym Salomon Square became a Greenstreets property and was renovated in 2000 via a $65,000 requirements contract. Renovations included planting shrubs and new wicket fencing, sidewalks, and benches. Yews (Taxus) were used as an evergreen backdrop to the memorial and Flowering cherry trees (Prunus) were planted. Spiraea (Spiraea), in front of the memorial, flowers in summer. In addition, Juniper (Juniperus) was planted as groundcover, Holly (Ilex) as a curving hedge, and Red-Osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) was added for winter color.

Greenstreets is a joint project of Parks and the New York City Department of Transportation begun in 1986 and revived in 1994. Its goal is to convert paved street properties, such as triangles and malls, into green spaces.

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