Taking its name after an American Civil war general and newspaper figure, the Carl Schurz Park is one of the most beautiful public parks in New York City. Located at the border of the German-American neighborhood in Yorkville, Carl Schurz Park honors a German radical who later on turned out to be an American reformer and patriot and also battled it out as a Union Army General during the height of the Civil War. Together with his sister, Schurz also played a significant role in creating the US?s kindergarten system and eventually became a popular New York City journalist.
Carl Schurz Park was formerly called East River Park when it was established in 1876. Since then, many modifications have been done in this popular public greenery and it was renamed to its current name in the early years of the 1900s. The park was rebuilt following the blueprint of Robert Moses in 1935 and also went through a re-landscaping in 1939 spearheaded by Maud Sargent during the peak of the construction of the East River Drive underpass.
The Carl Schurz Park towers over the East River at a place called as Hell Gate which is also the location of New York City mayor?s official address called the Gracie Mansion. The mansion was constructed using the Federal architectural style by Archibald Gracie who was a shipping merchant in 1799. New York City purchased the mansion in 1896 and included tucked it into the Carl Schurz Park. It was the previous site of the Museum of the City of New York and in 1942, it was transformed as the official mayoral home of New York City.
Currently, the park is a famous destination for New York City residents for walking and playing the majority of the middle of the 20th century. However, in the 1970s it was in a not so beautiful state just like any other New York parks during that time mainly because of budget cuts for the maintenance of the city parks.
Fortunately, a concerned community association intervened to rescue the park and is up until now involved in maintaining it. Today, the Carl Schurz Park Association boasts of 1,200 volunteers who put together gardening chores all throughout the years for the several flowerbeds and maintenance activities for the park?s huge playground, hockey facilities and two dog runs.
Weekly concerts take place in Carl Schurz Park during the summer as well as the holiday season. Movie screenings are also often shown in the hockey arena when there is no game. The park is also the venue of the Gracie Square Art Show and the Halloween Hall, an annual costume competition for dogs. Another attraction in the park is the Peter Pan bust which was added here in 1928.
Another attraction within the Carl Schurz Park is the John Finley Walk. It is the uppermost deck of the Franklin D. Roosevelt driver. It is somewhat like the Brooklyn?s Promenade with beautiful views of the Roosevelt Island and the East River.