Have You Walked Carl Schurz Park? A Gem Missed Too Often in New York City


Carl Schurz Park is a quiet green space in Yorkville on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Home to Gracie Mansion, where New York’s mayors live, it rises above Hell Gate, the confluence where tides from Long Island Sound collide with those from the East and Harlem Rivers. It has a rich history, including substituting for Central Park with filmmakers because it looks so similar, except in miniature.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The New Normal, Carl Schurz Park, Fine Art Photography Print by Deborah Julian

Carl Schurz Park is named for Carl Schurz, a German-born American politician. The Lower East Side of Manhattan was home to the first wave of German immigrants in the mid-to-late 19th century, including Schurz. A reformer, he served as Secretary of the Interior (1877–81) and Secretary of the Treasury (1889–93) under Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes and Benjamin Harrison, respectively. The park is on East End Avenue along the East River between 70th and 84th Streets.

About the Park

The park offers a wide range of activities including recreational softball, baseball, soccer and basketball courts in addition to tennis courts and a running track. A waterfront promenade has a row of benches, making it a prime spot for reading or chatting with friends. A steady flow of local dogs out for walks sets a gentle tone.

In the Clouds, Carl Schurz Park, Fine Art Photography Print @Deborah Julian

In the past few years, the parks department renovated several amenities in this park including new bathrooms, a new running track surface, fencing, benches and more. Renovations in 2011 made the park more accessible for people with disabilities.

Carl Schurz Park is under the jurisdiction of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. Its western flank is artificial, built over two levels of the FDR Drive. It has a pair of popular dog runs as well as outstanding views up down and across the rivers.

Impromptu, Carl Schurz Park, Fine Art Photography Print ©Deborah Julian

The park increased in popularity when an NYC Ferry Landing, serving two routes, became active along its north end in 2017, relieving the isolation of a mass transit desert.

Visit, but don’t mistake its small size as representing insignificance. There’s a lot you can do here, from quiet calm to active play.

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