Richman (Echo) Park
Richman (Echo) Park
What was here before?
This park is located in Tremont’s Mount Hope section. The land was once part of the vast Morris family estate and was used for farming. When the lands were subdivided into villages in 1868, it became known as the Western Reserve. From the 1860s to 1902 this land was owned by the Buckhout family, whose presence in the region can be traced back to 1670.
How did this become a park?
NYC Parks acquired this land through condemnation in 1897. In 1902, a park was established on the site and named Echo Park after the well-defined echo that can be heard between the two large rock masses that dominate its dramatic topography. Its crevasses and summits, shaded green regions, and terraced steps create a wide variation in sunlight and elevation.
Additional acquisitions in 1903 and 1905 extended the park westward. A playground in the northwestern end of the park opened in the summer of 1914, when the Parks and Playgrounds Association established new playgrounds in eight Bronx parks.
Upgraded play equipment was installed in 2001, and the playground was reconstructed in 2021. The most recent renovations added spray showers, new play equipment, game tables, upgraded paving and safety surfaces, in addition to reconstruction of both a half and a full basketball court.
Who is this park named for?
This park is named for Bronx citizen Julius J. Richman (1915–1972), whose long career in civil service blended skill in finance with an interest in public welfare, particularly in matters of housing. He was former chairman of the Urban Action Task Force and Twin Parks Association as well as Assistant Administrator of the City’s Finance Committee. He entered city government in 1962 as deputy city treasurer, having previously served Governor W. Averell Harriman (1891-1986) as senior accountant in the New York State Temporary Housing and Rent Commission. He was a close economic advisor to Mayor John V. Lindsay (1921-2000) and served as chairman of the Mayor’s West Bronx Neighborhood Task Force. In 1965, he was Chairman of Community Planning Board #2. At the time of his death in 1972, Richman was Assistant Finance Administrator for Audits and Inspections. The park was renamed Julius J. Richman Memorial Park in 1973, then modified to Richman (Echo) Park by NYC Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern (1935-2019) in 1997.