Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park

Wyckoff St. between Hoyt St. and Bond St.


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

In 1946 the City of New York acquired this property by condemnation as a part of the Gowanus Houses construction project. The land bordered by Hoyt, Wyckoff, and Bond Streets was reserved for park purposes, and transferred to NYC Parks in the same year.  Originally named the Gowanus Houses Playground, in 2001 it was renamed for Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. (1981-1994), a local resident who was fatally shot by a New York City Housing Authority police officer in the nearby housing complex where he lived with his mother, father and younger brother.

Heyward attended Public School 20 and Nathan Hale Middle School, where he was an honor student and role model among his peers.  He was an active member of the Church of God in Christ and by age 12, had already decided to pursue a career as a doctor or professional basketball player. Heyward regularly practiced basketball in this park and made his school’s basketball team just days before his death.

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  • Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park
  • Nicholas Naquan Heyward Jr. Park

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