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Levy Playground

Levy Park

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

This park is named in honor of Abraham Levy (1890-1917), the first serviceman from Richmond County to die in World War I. Levy lived at 1166 Castleton Avenue in West New Brighton, Staten Island. As a 2nd Class Seaman in the Naval Reserve, Levy was expecting to see action overseas, but never made it to Europe. He died at sea aboard the Army Transport Ship, USS Lincoln on October 1, 1917.

The playground, on the corner of Castleton and Jewett Avenues, is located in the neighborhood of Port Richmond. Originally settled by Dutch and French Huguenots, Port Richmond is one of the oldest communities on Staten Island. Later, the area became a port town bustling with sea trade. Local businesses included a whaling company, a whale oil-processing plant, a lumberyard, and coal yards. Ferries traveling from New York City to New Brunswick, New Jersey used a transfer point in present-day Port Richmond, known at different times as Ryer’s Landing and Decker’s Ferry. The village of Port Richmond was incorporated in 1866. 

In 1909, the City of New York purchased the half-acre lot that is now Levy Park from the Staten Island Water Supply Company. At the time, Bodine Creek flowed to the east of this property, draining from Clove Lakes and supplying water to Port Richmond. The Department of Sanitation briefly used the plot, and in 1934 it was assigned to NYC Parks. Three years later, the Board of Alderman formally named the property Abraham Levy Memorial Park.  The dedication of the park was on May 26, 1941, at which time shipmates spoke of Abraham Levy.

When the park was dedicated, it featured a wading pool, a field house, and a small playground with play equipment. In 1996, the park underwent a renovation that provided new play equipment and safety surfacing. An additional renovation to Levy Playground in 2000 included painting and repairing the recreational facility and creating an open patio. A garden was also added, and filled with a wide variety of flowers, plants, and trees.

This site is part of Parks' Community Parks Initiative—a multi-faceted program to invest in under-resourced public parks and increase the accessibility and quality of parks throughout the five boroughs. In 2018 this project reconstructed the existing playground in Levy Park with a new basketball court, play equipment, safety surfacing, interactive water features new plantings.

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Highlights

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