Essex Street Entrance to Seward Park Reopened for the First Time in a Decade

Posted on: July 15th, 2015 at 5:00 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

Behold! The Essex Street entrance to Seward Park is now back open to the public. Those iron gates had been locked during park hours for nearly fifteen years straight.

One local viewpoint blames the perennially padlocked gates on the park’s former function as needle den for junkies. It had kept druggies out of the playground while protecting children from running into the main thoroughfare of Essex Street. But it’s really beyond that…

An area resident recalls that the lockup actually happened in the aftermath of 9/11, when Seward Park was shut for a $1.56 million makeover courtesy of Mayor Giuliani and Councilmembers Kathryn Freed and Margarita López. Prior to that revamp, pedestrians could enter the park via Essex Street. Upon reopening a year later, though, the entrance was chained shut. Green seekers were instead funneled through East Broadway; closing time of dusk was also instated.

Guess it’s now considered safe enough to unlock. As of this month, folks can now pass completely through Seward Park without having to walk around.

“The Parks Department has recently altered its policy allowing a gate along Essex Street to be open during hours when the park is open,” Linda Jones of the Seward Park Conservancy tells us. “People figured it out right away and are enjoying the walk through the park.” Nevertheless, we have no firm confirmation from Parks on whether the change is permanent. Our messages go unheeded.

Founded in 1903, Seward Park is the oldest municipal playground in the United States.

Recent Stories

Borough President Implores Parks Commissioner to Address Community Concerns in Sara D. Roosevelt Park

Two stabbings within a twelve-hour period last weekend highlighted the decrepit, yet dangerous state of Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The violence apparently pushed Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer to exert pressure on the Parks Department to address certain core issues. In a letter to Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff this week, Brewer identified two key concerns – […]

Loved Ones Crowdfunding for Grubhub Deliveryman Stabbed to Death on the LES

Loved ones have taken to online crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to help raise money for the Grubhub deliveryman stabbed to death in Sara D. Roosevelt Park last weekend. As reported, the incident transpired early Saturday morning near the Hester Playground in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Surveillance footage shows that the attacker sat on the bench next […]

Coastal Resiliency Project Forces Lower East Side Ecology Center Compost Yard to Staten Island

The Lower East Side Ecology Center has its walking papers. The local nonprofit is amidst a move, relocating the East River compost yard it called home for the last two decades. Over the last week or so, the 22-year-old compost yard was dismantled, as the East Side Coastal Resilience Project is set to break ground […]

‘Citi Bites’ Takes Hell Square Corner

Another fast food option is coming to Hell Square. Citi Bites, not Citi Bikes, is described as a “modern deli,” this month signed a lease for the 2,000 square-foot cornershop at 101 Stanton Street. It takes the place of the former Prema hair salon which closed earlier this year. The bodega business reportedly agreed to […]

Police Release Chilling Video in Murder of Delivery Worker in Sara D. Roosevelt Park

Police released chilling new surveillance video showing the approached the defenseless delivery worker, moments before allegedly murdering him and stealing the electronic bike on the Lower East Side. As reported, the incident transpired early Saturday morning near the Hester Playground in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The footage shows the attacker sitting on the bench next […]