Rufus King Park
The Daily Plant : Wednesday, May 13, 2015
NYC Parks Breaks Ground On $2.2M In Improvements To Rufus King Park In Jamaica Queens
On Monday, April 27, NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP joined Borough President Melinda Katz, Council Member Rory Lancman and District Manager of Community Board 12 Yvonne Reddick, and community members to break ground on renovations to Rufus King Park.
“NYC Parks is pleased to break ground on improvements to the historic Rufus King Park,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Thanks to the generous funding allocated by the City Council, the Borough President's Office, Jamaica's residents will be able to enjoy a renovated and revitalized open space with a new gazebo that will serve as a beautiful gathering place for this diverse neighborhood.”
This project will reconstruct the gazebo and park pathways to include a new roof, handrails, steps, and brick platform for the gazebo. The gazebo will also be supplied with new electrical service for use at future events. The asphalt pathways will be repaved and reconfigured to improve pedestrian circulation and a new lawn, trees, and shrubs will be planted throughout the park. The park's spray shower will also be reconstructed to include new decorative colored concrete pavement, spray fixtures, and improved drainage.
This $2.2 million project was generously funded by the City Council, the Borough President's Office, and the Mayor's Office and is expected to be completed in Spring 2016.
King Manor Museum and Park in Jamaica was once the home of Rufus King (1755-1827), a distinguished lawyer, statesman, and gentleman farmer. King was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, an abolitionist, and made his most famous contribution to American history as a framer and signer of the Constitution.
In 1896, King's house and the remaining eleven acres of property were bought by the Village of Jamaica for $50,000. The village was absorbed into City of New York in 1898, and the property came under the jurisdiction of the Parks Department.
King Manor has operated as a museum since 1900 under the care of the King Manor Association of Long Island, Inc. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a member of the Historic House Trust, and the house and park are designated New York City landmarks. King Manor Museum is open on a regular basis for tours, educational programs, and community events.
King Manor Museum and Park have benefitted from three major recent capital projects in addition to this one, all totaling over $8 million. In 1987-93 the manor was restored and stabilized. In 1991-93 the park underwent an extensive reconstruction, which redistributed the recreation facilities, relocated the bandstand, rebuilt the park house, and provided new paths, fencing, and benches. In 1996-97 a new steel picket fence displaying the words from the Preamble of the Constitution was installed around the perimeter of the house.
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