Our History: A Timeline

  • Pre-1811: Dutch settlers name a Native American trade route Strand Road. It will become Greenwich Avenue.
  • 1811: Greenwich Avenue & Horatio Street are created in Manhattan’s first formal street plan, creating two sides of the then-unnamed triangular parcel of land.
  • 1826: The City of New York acquires the land.
  • 1830s: The 8th Avenue Extension expands the avenue south below 14th Street and completes the triangle.
  • 1850s: The name “Jackson Square” appears in newspapers for the first time in the early years of the decade. Thought no record exists of its naming, it is presumably named for President Andrew Jackson who died in 1845.
  • 1872: One of 29 properties designated for improvements in the Second Annual Report of the Board of Commissioners of the Department of Parks. To this point, the triangle had simply been a crossroads and rallying site (often hosting up to 2,000 people with large platforms for speakers). High iron fences are beautiful but prevent the general public from admittance.
  • 1887: Mayor Abram S. Hewitt charges Parks Superintendent Samuel Parsons Jr. and consulting architect Calvert Vaux with improving access to several fenced parks.
  • 1888: In August, Jackson Park is officially opened after four months of construction.
  • 1889: The name Jackson Square Park takes hold.
  • 1910-1911: The Square is converted to a playground with swings, see-saws and sandboxes.
  • 1913: A new school garden is installed for “little farmers” (school-aged children of the neighborhood) to plant.
  • 1930s: Major renovations that include the planting of 17 pin oaks, installation of a wading pool and new benches.
  • 1971: A “combination fountain and jungle gym” is installed where children can play and cool down.
  • 1990s: A major capital campaign usher in the iconic fountain, new greenery and a complete restoration of the benches and cast iron railings.
  • 2008: The Jackson Square Alliance, a 501c3 non-profit organization, is formed to maintain the Square and its environs.

Sources: Wikipedia, NYC Parks