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

Maurice A. Fitzgerald Playground

1.201 Acres

Maurice A. Fitzgerald Playground Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 25, 2019
1. Maurice A. Fitzgerald Playground Marker
Inscription.  This playground is named in honor of dedicated politician and public servant Maurice A. FitzGerald (1897-1951). FitzGerald was born in Brooklyn and attended Boys’ High School and the New Lots Evening High School. He began his career as a civil servant at the age of fourteen, working as a postal clerk. In the 1920s FitzGerald became the president of the South Side Allied Civic Association and championed the construction of John Adams High School in Ozone Park, Queens. He also successfully opposed the displacement of local residents by the widening of streets.

In 1929 FitzGerald was elected to the State Assembly where he served for nine years. During his tenure he actively supported laws that extended the parkways through Queens, earning him the moniker "The Father of Queens Parkways." FitzGerald also led a successful campaign to regulate utility companies, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. A staunch supporter of civil service and labor, he sponsored many pro-worker bills, including ones that restricted court injunctions and prohibited contracts that prevented workers from joining unions.

In 1937 FitzGerald was elected Sheriff of

Maurice A. Fitzgerald Playground Marker - wide view image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Andrew Ruppenstein, April 25, 2019
2. Maurice A. Fitzgerald Playground Marker - wide view
The marker is visible here mounted to the fence, just to the right of the entrance.
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Queens and embarked on a vigorous beautification and enforcement campaign for the 1939-1940 World's Fair. In 1942 he was appointed Borough Public Works Commissioner, a position he held for seven years. Fitzgerald was swept into the Queens Borough Presidency on the Democratic ticket with Mayor William O'Dwyer in 1949. Borough President FitzGerald suffered a fatal heart attack in 1951 while vacationing in the Adirondacks, ending a productive career of public service.

Later that year, the City Council named a new playground for FitzGerald in Ozone park where he had been a long time resident. FitzGerald had been instrumental in securing this site as a park and had participated in the groundbreaking ceremonies months before his death.

The playground's facilities were improved in 1999 with the completion of a capital renovation that included new modular play equipment, a spray shower, benches and sitting areas, along with extensive greens and shrubs. The playground's design was inspired by FitzGerald's Irish heritage, and features sheep play sculptures, a "woven" paving pattern, wool-colored concrete, a shepherd's crook set into the center of the spray area, and planting of Lamb's Ear, Sheepberry, and Sheep Laurel.
Erected by NYC Parks.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Charity & Public Work

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Parks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical year for this entry is 1929.
Location. 40° 41.435′ N, 73° 50.386′ W. Marker is in Ozone Park, New York, in Queens County. Marker is on Atlantic Avenue west of 106th Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ozone Park NY 11416, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. Anthony Hospital (approx. 0.6 miles away); Morris Park World War I Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away); World War I Memorial (approx. ¾ mile away); Sergeant Joseph E. Schaefer Oval (approx. ¾ mile away); Mae West (approx. 0.8 miles away); Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua (approx. 1.1 miles away); Woodhaven Patriotic League World War II Honor Roll (approx. 1.1 miles away); First House Number in Queens (approx. 1.1 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on May 17, 2019. It was originally submitted on May 16, 2019, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 93 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on May 16, 2019, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.   2. submitted on May 17, 2019, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.

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May. 17, 2022