Haffen Park

NY_NYC_HaffenPark_nycparksandrec_MalcolmPinckney.jpg
Bronx, NY
United States
Haffen Park

Landscape Information

Situated on an approximately nine-acre parcel bounded by Burke and Hammersely Avenues to the north and south respectively, and by Gunther and Ely Avenues to the east and west, the park is named for Louis Haffen, the first borough president of the Bronx. The park is central to the Bronx’s Baychester neighborhood, and accommodates a variety of visitors with a number of recreational facilities. In 1958 the City of New York acquired the site and developed picnic areas, play areas, and athletic facilities for such sports as tennis, handball, basketball, and baseball. Landscape architect Clara Coffey and the firm Levine & Blumberg drafted reconstruction plans in 1968 which proposed the addition of numerous pieces of innovative play equipment. The Land and Water Conservation Fund provided support for the addition of a pool complex around 1970, which includes a 25-yard pool, a wading pool, and a number of related service buildings in the northeast corner. In 1996 the park’s playground was renovated and expanded to include slides, clatter bridges, and ladders, with new surfacing and paving. In 2006 a new synthetic turf baseball and soccer field was added to the southwest corner  with funding from the Croton Water Filtration Facility parkland mitigation efforts. The fund also made possible other renovations, including the installation of new drinking fountains and benches, drainage reconstruction, tree pruning, and new plantings. In the northwest corner are two basketball courts and six tennis courts. At the southeast corner is the formal entrance into the park, and is the starting point for a number of curvilinear paths that lead to the tennis courts, pool complex, and the baseball/soccer field. Near the center are two large-scale decorative fountains and an outdoor theatre space that accommodates summer musical performances. The site also hosts seasonal urban bird watching and volunteer planting days.