NYC Resources311Office of the Mayor

Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Van Alst Playground

21 St. bet. 29 Ave. and 30 Ave.


Directions via Google Maps

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

Van Alst Playground, adjoined to P.S. 171 and bounded by 14th and 21st Streets, 29th and 30th Avenues, is named after Peter G. Van Alst. Born in Dutch Kills (“kill” means “stream” in Dutch), Queens on May 28, 1828, Van Alst received his education at the District School and the Astoria Institute. He apprenticed as a surveyor for a few years, and worked independently until 1872, when the city legislature appointed him to serve as a commissioner, surveying and supervising the construction of several roads in Long Island City, Queens. In 1874, Van Alst and three fellow Long Island City citizens comprised the First Ward Improvement Commission, which was in charge of raising the grades of Jackson Avenue from Vernon Avenue to the courthouse from three to eight feet, which profoundly affected the daily life of the city. Van Alst’s job consisted primarily of constructing maps, which revealed detailed organizations of street lines, grades and sewage lines of …

Read More

Directions to Van Alst Playground

  • Van Alst Playground

Van Alst Playground Weather

  • Tue
    Partly Sunny
  • Wed
    Chance Showers and Areas Fog then Showers and Breezy
  • Thu
    Mostly Sunny and Breezy
  • Fri
    Chance Snow

7-day forecast

Was this information helpful?