Marcus Garvey Park

Originally named Mount Morris Park, Marcus Garvey Park was renamed in 1973 after the Pan-Africanist movement founder Marcus Garvey, who was a noted early Black Nationalist.  Dominated by a vast “berg” (Dutch for hill) of schist, the park was an early lookout for first the Native Americans of the area and then Hessian soldiers during the Revolution.  Deemed an impassible block to traffic when Fifth Avenue was laid out, the berg was set aside for public use in the 1830s and landscaped as a park in the 1860s and 1870s.  Robert Moses planned to drive a tunnel through it in the 1930s but funds, perhaps fortunately, never materialized.

Lined with handsome stone walls and incorporating the oldest fire watch tower in New York, the park is in need of restoration.

The picture shows the “berg” from the foot of Fifth Avenue and 122nd Street.

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