Historic Harlem Parks

The Daily Plant : Monday, September 9, 2013

Funds Invested To Restore Historic Fire Watchtower

On August 28, NYC Parks Manhattan Borough Commissioner William Castro joined Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, City Council Member Inez Dickens, State Senator Bill Perkins, and members of the community including the Mount Morris Park Community Association and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance to announce that capital funds were invested to restore the historic Mount Morris Fire Watchtower at Marcus Garvey Park.

The fire watchtower located between 120th and 124th Street at the interruption of Fifth Avenue in Marcus Garvey Park (formerly known as Mount Morris Park) was designed by the engineer Julius Kroehl and built in 1856-57. The last of many watchtowers that once provided fire detection for the City of New York, the structure is recognized for both its local and national significance. It is a designated New York City landmark and also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The tower was last restored in 1937-38 using WPA funds to reconstruct the park, restore the tower and create a large surrounding plaza, known as “The Acropolis” at the top of the hill. The tower was stabilized in 1991 with the addition of contemporary metal braces for support until funds could be raised for its full restoration. This metal bracing has reached the end of its useful lifespan and the original cast iron members have deteriorated.

This restoration will ensure the continued survival of an extraordinary remnant from our city's history. It will provide for the disassembly of the tower, testing of all components to determine structural integrity, and restoration and replacement of components as required. The project has received capital allocations of $1.75 million from Council Member Dickens, $1.25 million from Mayor Bloomberg, and $1 million from Borough President Stringer.


QUOTATION FOR THE DAY

“When I was born I was so surprised I didn't talk for a year and a half.”

Gracie Allen
(1906 - 1964)

Directions to Historic Harlem Parks

Know Before You Go

There are currently 2 service interruptions affecting access within this park.

Recreation CentersJackie Robinson Recreation Center

New York City’s recreation centers and indoor pools remain closed to the general public until further notice to provide COVID-19 related services as well as free childcare options for children who are scheduled for blended learning. To learn more or to apply for the childcare program, please visit the New York City Department of Education’s Learning Bridges program page.

Once we reopen, NYC Parks will extend all existing recreation center memberships to cover the length of time we are closed to the general public.


Recreation CentersPelham Fritz Recreation Center

New York City’s recreation centers and indoor pools remain closed to the general public until further notice to provide COVID-19 related services as well as free childcare options for children who are scheduled for blended learning. To learn more or to apply for the childcare program, please visit the New York City Department of Education’s Learning Bridges program page.

Once we reopen, NYC Parks will extend all existing recreation center memberships to cover the length of time we are closed to the general public.


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