Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tuesday Afternoon in Williamsburg: Fun at Sternberg Park

We walked down Leonard Street on this gorgeous afternoon to Sternberg Park to just enjoy the great weather and watch people playing football (on the basketball court, with a miniature ball),

basketball (on the basketball court, where this kid shooting hoops was soon joined by others in a pickup game),

handball (on the Lorimer Street side)


(with the towers of Most Holy Trinity in the background),

and soccer (on the Leonard Street side), and




buying ices

and ice cream,

and sitting on benches asking us if we wanted to read the Bible with them.

We politely declined and found that there was still room for us to sit and read Shakespeare.

From the park's website:
The City of New York acquired this property on May 15, 1919. Although the Board of Aldermen (predecessor to the City Council) approved the site for a park that year, it was not without some controversy. New York City was suffering a housing shortage and the block between Boerum, Leonard and Lorimer Streets was described as one of the most congested in Brooklyn, being occupied by “187 families, 43 stores, 2 factories, 1 garage, 1 stable, and 1 candy store.” After much debate, the City Comptroller’s Office decided in 1924 that the playground was a much needed addition to this densely populated area and demolition of the existing buildings occurred.

Originally known as the Williamsburg Park, in 1925 the Board of Aldermen officially named it Lindsay Park, in honor of George H. Lindsay (1837-1916), a congressman representing Williamsburg from 1901 to 1913. The area surrounding the park underwent massive reconstruction, with the creation of the Lindsay Park Houses and the rebuilding of the George H. Lindsay School (P.S.250) in 1964. The original 1.84-acre park was expanded by local law in 1964 adding over two acres to the park in connection with the Urban Renewal Plan.

In October 1990, a local law renamed this park and playground for Frances Hamburger Sternberg (1920-1990), a New York native and active Brooklyn community member who contributed extensively to the social and political life of the Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods. Her life of philanthropy included chairing the Friends of Lindsay Park (this park’s previous name) Committee.

Having been active in civil defense in World War II, Frances Hamburger became an accountant and bookkeeper, making her professional skills available to many neighborhood groups. Among the numerous positions she held in community organizations were chairmanship of the Anti-Crime Committee, and membership on the boards of the Lindsay Park Houses, the Greenpoint Hospital, and the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Coalition. Her political activities included serving as chairperson of Community Board 1 from 1977 to 1978, and working as a campaign advisor to State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol and City Council Member Isaac Noel Robles. Frances Hamburger married Dr. Henry Sternberg, another active community member.

We'll be back to Sternberg Park, and we hope that the dog run construction is done soon and that Moviehouse and Open Space Alliance will again be showing some CinemaParque films on summer nights.

No comments: