Neigborhoods

Gramercy Park

Neighborhood Image

The area which is now Gramercy Park was once in the middle of a swamp, called by the Dutch settlers Krom Moerasje, meaning "little crooked swamp", through which ran the spring-fed stream Krom Mesje ("little crooked knife"), which had, over time, carved out a 40-foot deep gully on its way along what is now 21st Street to the East River at 18th Street. These original names became corrupted to "Crommessie", which itself was further corrupted to "Gramercy."

By 1831, when Samuel B. Ruggles bought the property from James Duane, a descendant of Peter Stuyvesant, it was farmland, called "Gramercy Farm". To develop the property, Ruggles spent $180,000 to landscape it, draining the swamp and causing about a million horsecart loads of earth to be moved. He then laid out "Gramercy Square", deeding possession of the square to the owners of the 60 parcels of land he had plotted to surround it, and sought tax-exempt status for the park, which the Board of Alderman granted in 1832. The park was fenced in in 1833, but construction on the surrounding lots did not begin until the 1840s. Ruggles also brought about the creation by the state legislature of Lexington Avenue and Irving Place, two new north-south roads laid out between Third and Fourth Avenues and feeding into his development at the top and bottom of the park.

In the center of the park is a statue of one of the area's most famous residents, Edwin Booth. Booth was one of the great Shakespearean actors of 19th Century America, as well as the brother of John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln. His mansion still stands at, "No. 16," and is today the home of the Players' Club.

In 1966, Gramery Park was designated an historic district.

One of the most significant steam explosions in New York City occurred near Gramercy Park in 1989, killing two Consolidated Edison workers and one bystander, and causing damage of several million dollars to area buildings.

LOCAL PARKS & ENTERTAINMENT

Gramercy Park Irving Place at 19th Street

[ between East 20th and 21st Street ]

Madison Square Park East 23rd to 26th Street, Broadway to Madison

Stuyvesant Park 2nd Avenue and 16th Street [ between 15th and 17th Streets ]

Asser Levy Recreation Center,

Pool, and Playground Asser Levy Place and East 24 and 25th Street

Belevue South Park East 26th and 28th Street

[ between 1st and 2nd Avevue ]

Union Square Park East 14th to 17th Street, Broadway to 4th Avenue

Flatiron Building 175 Fifth Avenue at 23rd Street

Salmagundi Museum of American Art 47 Fifth Avenue

[ between 11th and 12th Street ]

The Rose Bar and The Jade Bar,

Gramercy Park Hotel 2 Lexington Avenue

Theodore Roosevelt ’s Birthplace 28 East 20th Street

[ between Park and Broadway ]

Police Academy Museum 235 East 20th Street [ between 2nd and 3rd Avenue ]

RESTAURANTS

Abigael’s 1407 Broadway [ between 38th and 39th Street ]

40/40 Club 6 West 25th Street

SCHOOLS

ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

Friends Seminary 222 East 16th Street

Jack & Jil Schol 208 East 16th Street

P.S. 226 345 East 15th Street

P.S. 40 Augustus St. Gaudens 319 East 19th Street

P.S. JHS 47 - Schol for the Deaf 225 East 23rd Street

United Nations International 25-50 FDR Drive

HIGH SCHOOLS

Baruch Colege High Schol 17 Lexington Avenue

Mabel Dean Bacon Vocational High Schol 127 East 22nd Street

United Nations International 25-50 FDR Drive

Washington Irving High 40 Irving Place

POLICE

13th Precinct 230 East 21st Street [ Tel. 212. 477.7411 ]

LOCAL HOSPITALS

Beth Israel Hospital 1st Avenue and 16th Street

[ Tel. 212.420.2900 ]

US Veterans Hospital 408 1st Avenue [ Tel. 212.213.9808 ]

TRANSPORTATION

SUBWAY 4, 5, 6, L, N, R

BUS M1, M2, M9, M14, M15, M101,

M102, M103

LOCAL POST OFFICES

Muray Hil Post Office 115 East 34th Street

U.S. Post Office 70 West 10th Street

U.S. Post Office 244 East 3rd Street

U.S. Post Office 19 West 33rd Street

Peter Stuyvesant Post Office 432 East 14th Street

Madison Square Post Office 149 East 23rd Street