July 9, 2010

Then & Now: Golden Swan Garden


We first learned about the Golden Swan from The Rough Guide to New York City. The garden site formerly housed a bar, The Golden Swan Bar, "variously called The Hell Hole, Bucket of Blood, and other such inviting names" and was frequented by playwright Eugene O'Neill who "drew many of his characters from the bar's personalities" (p. 106).


According to the Parks website, the Golden Swan was demolished in 1928 to make way for the Sixth Avenue subway line. In 1934, the City was assigned jurisdiction of the parcel was deeded to the City and in 1935, a playground was opened. (Parks did not receive official ownership of the parcel until 1953.)  In 1999, Mayor Giuliani and Council Member Christine Quinn allocated capital funding to transform "this formerly bedraggled open patch of asphalt and concrete into" the garden one sees today. The tree list includes number of trees such as the Japanese dogwood ( Cornus kousa), Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), Serbian spruce (Picea omorika), Japanese maple (Acer japonica), Dawn redwood (Metasequora glyptostroboides), and Saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana).  Read about the trees in another small park in the area.

4 comments:

  1. I always love walking past this tiny park and am amazed the land was preserved.

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  2. Hi Out walking the dog, thanks for following and for commenting. The Village section of 6th Avenue has such great little parks.

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  3. Pocket parks rule! Glad you found this one. I think the name is a great improvement on previous iterations... Hope you are having a great summer, Georgia!

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  4. Karen, welcome back! Are there pocket parks in your Seattle neighborhood? Would you guest blog about them for local ecologist?

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