St. James Park

St. James Park

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

Shortly after Parks acquired this site on September 13, 1897, the low, marshy land was graded with soil and ash and transformed into a public park. The state legislature named it for the St. James Episcopal Church, located just south of the park on Jerome Avenue at 190th Street. The church’s landmark building, a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture, was originally designed in 1865 as a country church for the Huguenot and Anglican parishes of rural Westchester.

There are two St. Jameses in Christian hagiology, St. James the Greater and St. James the Less, or Little, both were apostles, two of the twelve disciples. It is St. James the Greater, brother of St. John the Evangelist and son of Zebedee, for whom the church and the park were named. He was tried in Jerusalem in the year A.D. 44 and beheaded by Herod Agrippa. St. James the Greater is generally depicted as the older Apostle, the Pilgrim carrying a water-gourd and scallop shell, or as the Knight and Patron Saint of Spain, mounted on horseback. His Feast Day is July 25.

Over the course of the last century, St. James Park has expanded its facilities to meet the growing needs of the community. A series of music concerts held in 1903 proved so popular that a music pavilion was erected in the park. One year later, parks officials responded to the demands of tennis players by installing tennis courts at the site. The park was redesigned and reconstructed from 1935-7 when the playground and recreation building were constructed. The St. James Golden Age Center has engaged Bronx senior citizens with activities and programs since it opened in 1974. Children’s opportunities for exercise and adventure expanded in 1997 with the installation of state-of-the-art modular play equipment, funded with $90,770 in requirements contracts.

Park Information

Directions to St. James Park

Know Before You Go

Recreation Centers
St. James Recreation Center

St. James Recreation Center remains closed at this time due to extensive damage from winter storm Ida. We are working with fellow agencies to coordinate repairs.

  • St James Park
  • St James Park


  • St. James Park

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