Monday, September 17, 2012

Isham Park - Centennial Celebration!!! Hosted by Neighborhood volunteer groups, NYC Parks & Partnerships for Parks

Photo from the Archives of the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation
Inwood, Manhattan—One hundred years ago on September 28th 1912, the P.S. 52 marching band paraded into Isham Park at its Broadway entrance just above Isham Street up to the top of the hill to the former Isham family residence, where festivities celebrating the new park, including speeches, folk dancing, and music performances were presented.

The park was one of the first gifts of land for a NYC public park according to then Parks Commissioner Charles B. Stover.  The gift not only preserved the land for Isham Park, but it reignited the discussion of the purchase of land for Inwood Hill Park.  Completion of the construction of the first rapid transit station at the east end of Dyckman Street in 1906 had hastened the development of open farmland in Inwood into the residential apartment community known today. The gift of land for Isham Park actually preserved precious natural geological features that might have been lost if development had advanced without interruption across the northern tip of the island.   

Julia Isham Taylor initiated the gift of land for a park to be named in her father’s memory in a letter to the Manhattan Borough President George A. McAneny, reproduced in the New York Times on May 26, 1911.  After her aunt, her father’s sister, Flora Eliza Isham, gave additional land in early 1912, the celebration of the park was planned and held.

The gifts of land that became Isham Park have enabled the public to experience the original terrain of Manhattan Island at its northern tip for the past 100 years. As Julia intended, Isham Park has served as an open space, treasure, and community asset throughout its lifetime. We ask that everyone who is devoted to Isham Park participate in this celebration, share their favorite Isham Park memories, reconnect with the park’s phenomenal history, and celebrate the diverse neighborhood that envelopes it.

Once again, the I.S. 52 Inwood Tiger band and Heavenly Voices Chorus will march from the Broadway entrance to the top of Isham Park to open the festivities:

Saturday, September 29, 2012
11:00 am to 3:00 pm, Isham Park, event will be held on the lawn at the top of the park.
Enter the park at Broadway above Isham Street to march with the band at 11:00am.
Festivities will include various speakers, story booth, performers, historical park signage and tours, children’s activities, celebration cake and refreshments.

NYC Parks, Partnerships for Parks, Volunteers for Isham Park, Isham Park Restoration Program 1970, Inc., Rotary Club of Inwood, and community volunteers, with special thanks to Edison Properties

For more information please contact:

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