Monday, May 16, 2011

A ceremony in Isham Park , the 2nd gathering for “Six to Celebrate”

Next Wednesday, May 25th 2011, is the 100th anniversary of the date on which Julia Isham Taylor's letter offering land for the creation of Isham Park was presented to the Board of Estimate of New York City. To mark the occasion, a ceremony and second gathering for "Six to Celebrate" will be held in the park.  Mrs. Taylor’s letter to then Manhattan Borough President George McAneny was published in the New York Times on the day following its presentation. A cake and excerpts from the Times article and other related news accounts will be shared.[1]
When Isham Park was finally dedicated on September 28th 1912, the gift of land by the Isham family had already changed the shape of rapid development in the area by preserving significant land for public use on a central high point which provided open views of the surrounding landscape.  Less known is the fact that the gift of Isham Park revived the discussion of the city’s purchase of private lands on Inwood Hill for additional city parkland.[2]  So, the gift of land from the Isham family can be credited with helping to preserve a greater portion of the geologic and historic features of Manhattan Island than the often overlooked boundaries of Isham Park suggest. 

Please join us to commemorate Julia Isham Taylor’s offer of the land for Isham Park to New York City:

Wednesday, May 25th 2011 at 6:30pm
Isham Memorial, Isham Park

For more details on “Six to Celebrate” go to:
For more information please contact:

[1] Two Free Parks for a City, New York Times, May 26, 1911, Friday, page 12
[2] Plans Park for North End of Manhattan Island: Gift of Mrs.[sic] Flora E. Isham Revives the Unfulfilled Dream of Andrew H. Green for Acquiring Inwood Hill So the City Would Have a Park at Each End of the Island, N.Y. Times Sunday, March 24, 1912, (no author cited), Magazine Section Part Six, Page SM7

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 21st 2011 will be It's My Park Day again in Isham Park

Please come out and assist gardeners from Bruce's Garden and Isham Alley - in collaboration with the Volunteers for Isham Park along the Broadway side of Isham Park next Saturday May 21st 2011!

This spring we will clean up, paint fence rails and bench supports, plant, and mulch along the east or Broadway side of Isham Park up to the Isham Memorial path.

For the Partnerships for Parks description of the activities go to:

Monday, May 2, 2011

1st meeting for a future Inwood, Manhattan Historic District

Last Saturday April 30th, Volunteers for Isham Park held the first in a series of meetings related to the selection of Inwood, Manhattan as one of the Historic District Council's "Six to Celebrate."

The meeting, which was held in the auditorium of the Inwood Branch of the New York Public Library, drew about 20 participants who introduced themselves, described their interests, watched a slide presentation about the area, discussed pros and cons and the process involved in creating such entities, and heard a definition of "Historic District" given by an HDC staffer present.

Participants signed in and will receive e-mail updates and press releases about related future events.

One architect present has signed on to study the single family residences in the neighborhood. Others have already sent historic building information by e-mail to be added to a growing inventory of the built structures in the neighborhood.  Early last week, a local Historic Preservation Masters degree candidate volunteered to assist with the study overall and will begin contributing regular hours at the end of May.

The meeting was a positive start for the complex and painstaking process ahead. (Link to the press announcement in DNA:

A second meeting is being planned for Wednesday, May 25th early evening at the Isham Memorial in Isham Park, the site at which Volunteers for Isham Park planted bulbs last fall for It's My Park Day on October 31st 2010.  Once the meeting details are confirmed, special notice will be sent out.

May 25th will also be the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first news article in the New York Times about Julia Isham Taylor's gift of land for Isham Park.  We will hold a small celebration of Julia's gift.

The Isham Memorial with its marble benches as seen last fall on IMPD