“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
New York in New York County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Park

.03 acre

Lieutenant Joseph Petrisino Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, October 2007
1. Lieutenant Joseph Petrisino Park Marker
Inscription.  This small park is at the crossroads of several dynamic New York neighborhoods: Little Italy and the Bowery to the east, Chinatown to the south, and SoHo to the west and north. The site/area became parkland as a result of the City Charter of 1938, which turned over all public places and squares to the Department of Parks.

The site was formerly known as Kenmare Square, for the street that runs east to Delancy. Around the turn of the century, Tammany Hall leader “Big Tim” Sullivan of the Lower East Side names Kenmare Street in honor of his mother’s birthplace, a village in County Kerry, Ireland. Kenmare Square was renamed in honor of Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino (1860-1909) by a local law, introduced by Council Member Miriam Freelander, passed by the City Council, and signed by Mayor Edward I. Koch in 1987.

Giuseppe (Joseph) Petrosino was born in Salerno, Italy, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1873. As a boy, he shined shoes outside Police Headquarters on Mulberry Street. At the age of eighteen, he began his career in public service with the Department of Sanitation (then under the jurisdiction
Lieutenant Joseph Petrisino Park image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, 2005
2. Lieutenant Joseph Petrisino Park
The marker is to the left of the entrance.
Click or scan to see
this page online
of the Police Department). Fluent in many Italian dialects, Petrosino aided the police by working undercover as an informer in Little Italy.

When he joined the Police Department in 1883, Petrosino was the city’s shortest officer, at five feet and three inches tall. Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt personally promoted him to Sergeant of Detectives in 1895. While investigating anarchists in the United States, Petrosino warned President McKinley of threats against his life; however, the warning was not heeded and the President was assassinated in 1901.

Within ten years, Petrosino was named Lieutenant and given command of the new Italian Squad, a unit created to combat the crime organization known as the Black Hand. Under his leadership, several thousand arrests were made, and more than 500 offenders were sent to prison. Crimes against Italian-Americans dropped by nearly fifty percent. Petrosino was killed while on assignment to Salerno, Italy.

When his body was returned to New York, thousands of mourners formed a funeral procession which marched from Little Italy to Cavalry Cemetery in Queens. Lt. Petrosino was the only New York police officer who had died in the line of duty outside the United States. The park named in his honor is located just north of the Renaissance Revival edifice at 240 Centre Street, which served as Police Headquarters from
Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino (NYCPD) image. Click for full size.
Public domain
3. Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino (NYCPD)
1910 to 1971.

City of New York Parks & Recreation
Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mayor
Henry J. Stern, Commissioner
March 2001
Erected 2001 by City of New York Parks & Recreation.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Law EnforcementParks & Recreational Areas. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #25 William McKinley, and the Former U.S. Presidents: #26 Theodore Roosevelt series lists. A significant historical month for this entry is March 2001.
Location. Marker has been reported permanently removed. It was located near 40° 43.295′ N, 73° 59.855′ W. Marker was in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker was at the intersection of Kenmare Street and Cleveland Place, on the right when traveling north on Kenmare Street. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: New York NY 10012, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino (here, next to this marker); Lombardi's Pizza (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sisters of Charity (approx. 0.2 miles away); “I Absolve You” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Play Street - Little Italy (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Neighborhood - Little Italy
Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Square, 2019 image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, May 8, 2019
4. Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Square, 2019
Rebuilt and renamed by NYC Parks & Recreation, 2010.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Within These Grounds Are Buried The Pioneering Priests (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Also see . . .
1. Lieutenant Joseph Petrosino Park. Official NYC Parks description. (Submitted on April 11, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 

2. Joseph Petrosino. Wikipedia biography. (Submitted on April 11, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 11, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 17, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 149 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on May 9, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 17, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.   3. submitted on April 24, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   4. submitted on May 9, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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May. 17, 2022