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Stuyvesant Square Park, Manhattan

Stuyvesant Square (1930)
New York Public Library

Stuyvesant Square Park is a park spanning from East 15th Street north to East 17th Street and from Rutherford Place east to Nathan D. Perlman Place. The square is commonly thought to be named for 
Peter Stuyvesant, the last of the Dutch Director-General of the colony of New Netherlands until it was ceded to English control in 1664. It is actually named for Peter Gerard Stuyvesant.


Stuyvesant Square (1905)
Museum of the City of New York

The park lies within what was the Stuyvesant family farm. The farm once stretched from the Bowery to the East River and from 3rd Street to 14th Street. The park itself is in the approximate location of the original Stuyvesant family mansion.

Randel Farm Map 1818-1820

In 1836, Peter Gerard Stuyvesant and his wife Hellen Rutherford reserved four acres of the family farm and sold it to the City of New York for $5 as a public park, with the proviso that the City of New York build a fence around it. The park square, originally to be named Holland Square, ultimately was named for it's namesake benefactor. Peter Gerard Stuyvesant co-founded the New York Historical Society and was among the richest Americans at the time. He is also the great-great-grandson of Peter Stuyvesant.

Stuyvesant Square (1815)
New York Public Library

The Square remained vacant until a 1839 lawsuit by Stuyvesant spurred development of the valuable land, and caused the City to enclose the land. The cast iron fence erected in 1847 still stands today, and is thought to be among the oldest and possibly the second-oldest park fence in New York City. The oldest park fence surrounds Bowling Green, erected in 1771.

Stuyvesant Square (1918)
Museum of the City of New York

The park's two fountains were installed by 1850 and opened to the public. The park was rehabilitated in the 1930s, with modifications by landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke, including construction of comfort stations, playgrounds and other built amenities.

Stuyvesant Square and Beth Israel Hospital (1929)
Museum of the City of New York

Park monuments include:

Director General (Governor) Peter Stuyvesant (1591-1672) the last governor-general of the Dutch colony. The statue by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, was unveiled in 1941 with Stuyvesant standing on his peg leg. The statue was donated by the Netherland American Foundation, and was exhibited by the Netherlands Pavilion in the 1939 New York World's Fair. Ironically, the sculpture faces the Friends Meeting House of the Quakers, a denomination he persecuted in life.

Antonin Dvorak (1841-1904) the renowned Bohemian composer and director of the National Conservatory of Music of America. Among his compositions is "Music From The New World" The Czech's former home was 327 E 17 Street, today the site of The Robert Mapplethorpe Residential Treatment Facility - a unit of the Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center. The facility is named for the avant-garde photographer. The bronze monument, by Croatian-American sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, was unveiled in 1963 and relocated to the Square in 1997 from the roof of Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall.

Beth Israel Hospital From Stuyvesant Square (1935-1941)
NYC Department of Records

The nearby fashionable Stuyvesant Building, located at 17 Livingston Place, was once home to publisher George Putnam, magazine editor Elizabeth Jordan, and Elizabeth Custer, widow to General George Armstrong Custer.



Friends Meeting House (1935-1941)
NYC Department of Records

Currently named Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center, then Beth Israel Hospital opened its location at the corner of Stuyvesant Square in 1929. The neighborhood has a rich history of hospitals that served first the German and Irish immigrants that began moving into the new rowhouses and brownstones in the neighborhood, but were soon followed by Jewish, Italian, and Slavic immigrants. Current and former neighborhood hospitals included The New York Infirmary for Women and Children founded by Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell at 321 E 15 Street, The New York Lying-In Hospital, the Hospital for Joint Diseases, the Salvation Army's William Booth Memorial Hospital, Manhattan General Hospital, and St. Andrew's Convalescent Hospital.


Friends Meeting House (1935-1941)
NYC Department of Records

The nearby St. George's Episcopal Church opened in 1856. The parish had been founded in 1749 as a chapel of Trinity Church on land donated by Peter Gerard Stuyvesant, and was attended by J.P. Morgan. The Church was first built from 1846-1856 as an early example of the Romanesque Revival. The church burnt down in 1865, but was rebuilt to match the original. It's spires were removed in 1886.

The Friends Meeting House (1961)
NYC Department of Records

The Friends Meeting House and Seminary was completed in 1861 by Charles Bunting. It was built by the Hicksite Friends, a sect of the Quakers.


St. George's Episcopal Church (1980)
Library of Congress

There exists debate whether Rutherford Place is named for Colonel John Rutherford, one of the commissioners to lay the street grid system on the island or Hellen Rutherford, who with her husband Stuyvesant made the donation which founded the square.

St. George's Episcopal Church (1980)
Library of Congress


The park is operated and maintained by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, but receives additional support in preserving the park's historic beauty from The Friends of Stuyvesant Square Park.
St. George's Episcopal Church
Library of Congress


St. George's Episcopal Church
Library of Congress





Stuyvesant Square (1961)
Museum of the City of New York




Stuyvesant Square (1961)
Museum of the City of New York




Stuyvesant Square 1983-1988
NYC Department of Records





Stuyvesant Square (1930)
New York Public Library




Stuyvesant Square (1930)
New York Public Library


The Friends School (1937)
NYC Department of Records





East 15th Street
New York Public Library




East 15th Street
New York Public Library




East 15th Street
New York Public Library


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