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

Hamilton Fish Park

4.3 acres

Hamilton Fish Park Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, 2016
1. Hamilton Fish Park Marker
Inscription.  This park takes its name from a long line of public officials, Hamilton Fish (1808-1893). Hamilton’s father, Nicholas Fish (1758 – 1833), married Elizabeth Stuyvesant in 1803 and distinguished himself as Adjutant-General of New York State, Supervisor of the Revenue under President George Washington, and alderman of New York City. Hamilton Fish graduated from Columbia University and became a lawyer in 1830. His political career included terms as U.S. Representative, Lieutenant Governor, Governor, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State.

The City of New York purchased the land for Hamilton Fish Park in 1897 as part of an effort initiated by State Legislature’s 1887 Small Parks Act. This pioneering law aimed to add open space in crowded neighborhoods, especially the Lower East Side. The park opened in 1900, complete with an ornate Beaux-Arts style gymnasium, the only original feature that survived to this day. Designed in 1898 by Carrere & Hastings, architects of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, the building takes its inspiration from a small garden pavilion in Paris Petit Palais. To emphasize the park’s formality, its
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architects placed a pair of small sculpted water fountains, grass parterres, and benches in straight rows behind the gymnasium. Only three years after its opening, a redesign made accommodations for active outdoor recreation including track and tennis.

In 1936 the Works Progress Administration built an indoor swimming pool at Hamilton Fish. It was one of eleven pools constructed around the city that year. These new facilities opened during one of the hottest summers in history and in the middle of the Great Depression. Thanks to the WPA pools, millions of new Yorkers got a place to swim. In 1952 the U.S. Olympic Team used Hamilton Fish pool for practice sessions on their way in Helsinki.

The gymnasium became an official New York City landmark in 1982, and in 1992 Parks completed a $14 million restoration of the entire park. In addition to refitting the gym as a recreation center, the project refurbished the basketball courts, handball courts, and the children’s playground.

City of New York Parks & Recreation
Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor
Adrian Benepe, Commissioner
October 2005
Erected 2005 by City of New York Parks & Recreation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Government & PoliticsParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical month for this entry is October 2005.
Hamilton Fish Park Play Center, formerly the gymnasium image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Larry Gertner, 2015
2. Hamilton Fish Park Play Center, formerly the gymnasium
130 Pitt Street
40° 43.227′ N, 73° 58.882′ W. Marker is in Manhattan, New York, in New York County. It is in the Lower East Side. Marker is on Pitt Street near E Houston Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New York NY 10002, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Our Lady of Sorrow World War II Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Allen Ginsberg (approx. ¼ mile away); Pilgrimage Shrine (approx. ¼ mile away); Jubilee Year (approx. ¼ mile away); Williamsburg Bridge, New York (approx. 0.3 miles away); Luther Gulick Playground (approx. 0.3 miles away); First Houses (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named First Houses (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manhattan.
Regarding Hamilton Fish Park. The building is listed in the "AIA (American Institute of Architects) Guide to New York City, Fifth Edition".
Also see . . .
1. Hamilton Fish Park History. Official NYC Parks page (Submitted on June 22, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 

2. The Hamilton Fish Park Gymnasium & Baths. Entry at "Daytonian in Manhattan" blog. (Submitted on February 13, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 

3. Hamilton Fish. Wikipedia biography. (Submitted on April 10, 2020, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York.) 
Hamilton Fish Park pools image. Click for full size.
via NYC Parks
3. Hamilton Fish Park pools
Hamilton Fish (1808-1893) image. Click for full size.
photo courtesy of the Library of Congress (via Wikipedia)
4. Hamilton Fish (1808-1893)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 31, 2023. It was originally submitted on June 22, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 302 times since then and 77 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 22, 2019, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Oct. 3, 2023