Van Dyke Playground

Van Dyke Playground

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

This playground honors the Van Dyke family, who were among the earliest Dutch settlers of 17th century Brooklyn. Successive generations of the Van Dyck (the original Dutch spelling) family produced magistrates, judges, and landowners who held significant influence in the newly-born towns of Brooklyn.

Jan Thomasse Van Dyck emigrated from Amsterdam in 1652 and settled in the town of New Utrecht. Governor Colve of New Utrecht (one of the six original towns that make up present-day Brooklyn) appointed him as a magistrate in 1673. Descendant Hendrick Janse Van Dyck (b. 1653) also resided in New Utrecht. He played a central role in fighting against the tyrannical Leislerian faction, which had seized control of the Dutch colonies. Van Dyck persuaded the Dutch government to assist the colonies in breaking free from the oppressive rule of the radical faction. Eventually, the King signed a warrant for the death of Jacob Leisler, the group’s leader, and he was beheaded in 1691.

NYC Parks acquired this property, located on Dumont Avenue and Powell Street, in 1957.  In 1997 the playground was reconstructed with red and yellow play equipment with safety surfacing, a swing set, basketball courts lined with bleachers, handball courts, and a shower basin.  Numerous London plane trees provide natural beauty and shade to the area.

Park Information

Directions to Van Dyke Playground

  • Van Dyke Playground

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