Lt. Federico Narvaez Tot Lot

Lt. Federico Narvaez Tot Lot

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

What was here before?

This site was once occupied by a one-story commercial building, but by the 1980s the lot was vacant. The site is three blocks west of the Ditmas Park Historic District, which contains many grand homes built at the turn of the century. Known for its suburban flavor, the neighborhood was developed in 1902 by realtor Lewis H. Pounds and built on land that once part of the Van Ditmarsen family farm. The homes in this neighborhood were built in the Colonial Revival, Tudor Revival, and Craftsman bungalow styles. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

How did this become a tot lot?

Purchased by the City of New York in 1986 in a residential open space sale, the tot lot became parkland in 1993. When it opened, it was known as the Argyle Tot Lot due to its location at the intersection of Argyle and Cortelyou Roads. The playground was renovated in 1996 and 2021. The most recent renovation included play equipment and spray showers designed for younger children.

Who is this tot lot named for?

In 1997, this playground was renamed in memory of New York Police Department Lieutenant Federico Narvaez (1956-1996). Lt. Narvaez attended high school in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood and studied business at Baruch College, where he met his wife Marilyn. They married in 1980 and had one child, Katrina. Appointed to the NYPD in 1979, Lt. Narvaez served at the 25th, 34th and 23rd Precincts and worked in the Narcotics Division, Warrant Division, and Civilian Complaint Review Board.


Following his promotion to Lieutenant in 1993, Lt. Narvaez was stationed at the 63rd, 69th and 70th Precincts. On October 18, 1996, he was slain in the line of duty. Twelve thousand police officers assembled in Queens five days after his death to salute the fallen hero, honoring him as a caring leader who loved his job and was dedicated to the safety of the community. The NYPD’s highest award, the Medal of Honor, was posthumously given to Lt. Narvaez. He also received a posthumous Medal of Honor from the Michael John Buczek Foundation.


During his seventeen years in the NYPD, Lt. Narvaez earned one Meritorious Police Duty Citation, five Excellent Police Duty Citations and six Commendation Citations. Lt. Narvaez was also active in the Resurrection Ascension School in Queens, where he served as a lunchroom monitor and put on weekly puppet shows.

Park Information

Directions to Lt. Federico Narvaez Tot Lot


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