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Marcus Garvey Park, Manhattan

Marcus Garvey Park

Marcus Garvey Park spans from East 120th Street north to East 124th Street and from Madison Avenue to 5th Avenue.

Dutch settlers referred to the Park as "Slangberg" or Snake Hill because of it's reptile population.  The site was also home of British fortifications during the Revolutionary War for the protection of the Harlem River.

In 1835, serious consideration was given to razing the hilly area to accommodate new streets however citizens successfully petitioned to preserve it.


Marcus Garvey Park (1935)
Museum of the City of New York

It opened as Mount Morris Park in 1840. The park is home of the City's only remaining fire watch tower. The fire watch tower was designed by Julius Kroehl and erected in 1856.  The tower is a 47 feet high and constructed of cast iron. It was designated a New York City landmark in 1967. In the 1930s a reconstruction of Mount Morris Park added a community center and child health station.  The Pelham Fritz Recreation Center is named for New York City Department of Parks and Recreation employee Pelham Fritz. Mount Morris Park was renamed for Marcus Garvey in 1973.

Marcus Garvey Park in 1949
Museum of the City of New York

Marcus Mosiah Garvey (1887-1940) was an advocate of Black Nationalism. Garvey was born in Jamaica in 1887 and immigrated to Harlem in 1916. In 1927 he was deported to Jamaica.



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