Francis Lewis Park
in Queens... Yes I know, this is supposed to be
a Bronx New Deal gallery, but I don't go to Queens enough to have a
separate Queens gallery and anyway, this park is connected to the Bronx
by the Whitestone Bridge
(you can see
Bronx on the other side of the water).
Like Ferry Point park, Francis Lewis Park was part of the Bronx-Whitestone
Bridge construction project, 1937-41. A New York
Parks City Department press release on April 25, 1940, confirms that it
was built by the WPA:
The Department of Parks announces that exercises in connection with the
dedication of Francis Lewis Park, Third Avenue and 147 Street, Whitestone,
Queens, will take place on Friday, April 26, at 3:30 P.M.
Mayor LaGuardia, Borough President Harvey of Queens, Charles U. Powell,
Engineer in charge of the Queens Topographical Bureau, and Major Edmond
H. Leavey, Deputy Work Projects Administrator, will participate as
Mrs, Ralph Stoddard, Regent of the Matinecock Chapter of the
D.A.R., will present a bronze memorial plaque and a flag to the City; Mrs.
Guy Forbes, great-great granddaughter of Francis Lewis, a signer of the
Declaration of Independence and after whom the Park was named, will unveil
the plaque. Park Commissioner Moses will act as chairman.
This ten acre park, fronting on the East River and acquired
in part to provide the Queens terminus of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, has
been developed mostly as a sitting park with winding paths and broad sloping
lawns landscaped with trees and shrubbery. A playground with a brick comfort
station, wading pool, handball courts, see-saws, slides, swings and a sand
pit has been provided to care for the recreation needs of the neighborhood
Also, Whitestone Playground, between 15 Avenue and 20 Avenue and adjacent to
the Whitestone Parkway, will be opened to the public at the above
time. Two-thirds of this new 21 acre playground was formerly property of the
Department of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity, and was known as the
Whitestone Pumping Station. The abutting balance was acquired in connection
with the acquisition of the Whitestone Parkway.
Here recreation facilities nave been provided for all age groups. There are
three separate children's completely equipped playgrounds, handball,
horseshoe pitching, shuffleboard and basketball courts, a full-sized hard
ball and a soft ball diamond as well as a football and soccer field. There
is also a large open play area which can be flooded and used for ice skating
when sub-freezing temperatures permit.
The opening of these two areas designed by the Park Department and built
by the Work Projects Administration makes a total of 323 new or
reconstructed playgrounds completed by the Park Department since January 1,
1934. At that time there were 119 playgrounds in the five boroughs and at
present there are 403.