NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Seward Park

Canal St, Essex St, Jefferson St and E Broadway

Manhattan

Directions via Google Maps

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

Named for the New York statesman famous for orchestrating the purchase of Alaska in 1867, Seward Park, one of the largest parks on the Lower East Side, has the distinction of being home to the first permanent, municipally-built playground in the nation.

In 1898, settlement workers Lillian D. Wald and Charles B. Stover founded the Outdoor Recreation League (ORL) to promote organized games in public playgrounds as an alternative to play in city streets. The ORL opened nine privately-sponsored playgrounds on municipal parkland between 1898 and 1902, when the City of New York assumed operations of ORL playgrounds.  This led to the construction of Seward Park the following year by the City.

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Directions to Seward Park

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