overview

Many New York City public parks and playgrounds are named in honor of prominent figures in New York City and American history.

Mabel Hampton Gardens, in the Bronx, specifically honors an LGBT individual.

Header Photo
Courtesy of the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.

History

Many New York City public parks and playgrounds are named in honor of prominent figures in New York City and American history. The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project compiled a list of 13 public parks and playgrounds named after gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals, several of which intentionally honor an LGBT individual. This list includes Mabel Hampton Garden, in the Bronx.

Formerly known as Morris Garden, this park was re-named for Mabel Hampton in 2021 in honor of the Black experience in New York City, and also specifically for her LGBT history. Hampton (1902-1989) was an African-American performer during the Harlem Renaissance and, in the 1970s and ‘80s, a key member of the Lesbian Herstory Archives. An icon of the New York lesbian community, Hampton lived in a Bronx apartment building at 639 East 169th Street with her partner Lillian Foster from 1943 to 1978 (Foster’s death), and on her own until about 1988.

The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation acquired Morris Garden in 1997, and named it after the prominent family of landowners and statesmen, who purchased land in the Bronx beginning in 1670.

Sources

  1. “Morris Garden,” NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, on.nyc.gov/2XAJKgq.

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