Hermon A. MacNeil Park
NYC PARKS CELEBRATES THE $5.4 MILLION RECONSTRUCTION OF MACNEIL PARK ESPLANADE IN COLLEGE POINTNYC PARKS CELEBRATES THE $5.4 MILLION RECONSTRUCTION OF MACNEIL PARK ESPLANADE IN COLLEGE POINT
Thursday, October 24, 2019
NYC Parks Queens Borough Commissioner Michael Dockett today joined Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, New York State Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal, New York City Council Member Paul Vallone, Queens Community Board 7 Chair Eugene Kelty Jr., and community members to cut the ribbon on the brand new MacNeil Park Esplanade in College Point.
“The revitalized MacNeil Park Esplanade will provide the College Point community and visitors with an accessible waterfront park and green oasis,” said Commissioner Dockett. “We are grateful to Mayor de Blasio, Borough President Katz, and Council Member Vallone for their support and commitment to preserving this incredible recreational asset.”
“The repairs to the MacNeil Park esplanade have restored access to the park’s waterfront and have made MacNeil Park an even more enjoyable place to visit for the families of College Point and all of Queens,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “The funds allocated for these repairs are an important investment in College Point and in our Queens waterfront. It has been a great privilege to work with Mayor de Blasio, Councilmember Vallone and NYC Parks on making this beautiful and vibrant waterfront esplanade a reality.”
"In Northeast Queens, our waterfronts have always been an important part of daily life and the overall character of our great neighborhoods,” said Council Member Paul Vallone. With the dream of a vibrant MacNeil Park with waterfront accessibility now realized, I know that these great new amenities will be enjoyed by local families and park visitors for generations to come."
“The long-awaited restoration of the MacNeil Park Esplanade project truly illustrates all of the natural beauty Queens has to offer,” said Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal. “Now College Point residents of all ages will be able to take advantage of this open-air amenity that helps make our borough unique.”
The $5.4 million project reconstructed over a quarter mile of the esplanade to provide a new shoreline walkway for park visitors. This site now features a stronger concrete retaining wall, an aluminum sea rail, a fishing overlook, and a kayak launch to enhance users’ waterfront experience. Funding for this project was provided by a $2.3 million allocation from Borough President Melinda Katz, $1.7 million from Council Member Paul Vallone, and $1.3 million from Mayor de Blasio.
A separate project to reconstruct the existing concrete stairs and construct new granite stairs at the jetty is currently underway at MacNeil Park. Additionally, new benches will be installed at the new granite stairs to provide park goers with a space to sit and relax. This project is currently in design.
In 1935, Reverend William Augustus Muhlenberg purchased 134 acres of land in the area as the site of a new Episcopal seminary. Due to the financial panic of 1837, plans to build a stone school on the grounds were abandoned. Mrs. Rogers, Muhlenberg’s sister, purchased the remaining stone for her own mansion and a new frame building rose on the school’s masonry foundation. St. Paul’s College (for which College Point is named) opened in 1839 and closed approximately ten years later. In 1930, the City of New York acquired the grounds for a public park. The Parks Department improved the property with a new playground, football field, roller skating rink, baseball diamond, and picnic grounds. Popular among local residents, the waterfront property was known alternatively as Chisholm Park and College Point Shore Front Park.
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