This playground honors Andrew J. Reiff (1887-1963), community activist and president of the Ridgewood-Metropolitan Civic Association of Queens for over 30 years. Reiff played a leading role in disputes over land development in his neighborhood of Maspeth. The park that bears his name owes its existence to his dedicated efforts.
Maspeth is the site of the earliest organized settlement in Queens, settled in 1642 by a group under the leadership of Reverend Francis Doughty (1605-1648). The name of the area is a word of the Mespaechtes tribe, meaning "bad water place," or "scattered settlement." Although a Native American attack destroyed the town the year after settlement, settlers returned in 1652 and established the village of Middleburgh.