This park is named for Johnny Hartman (1923-1983), a distinguished vocalist who is best remembered for his recordings of romantic ballads. This parcel of land was acquired by condemnation by the City of New York in 1876 and includes a portion of the adjacent Hamilton Place. In 1912, the parcel was transferred to the Parks Department. The parkland was originally called Hamilton Square, to honor Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), once a resident of the neighborhood that has become known as Hamilton Heights. Hamilton was a founding father and one of America’s most influential statesmen for his articulation of Federalist principles. The square was renamed Johnny Hartman Plaza in 1984.
Learn about the trials and triumphs of the black experience in the United States and how New York City honors black history in our parks today.