by Kevin Walsh

Bronx Park was acquired by the city in late 1888 and early 1889. By 1891, the city had allocated fully 250 acres to be used as a botanical garden, which has developed into one of the world’s premier gardens, with visitors drawn year-round to its collection of temperate and tropical plants and perennials, with many acres of groves and gardens. The Bronx River, which is generally a grimy, industrial flow of sludge south of the park, is here magically transformed back into the pristine fresh water brook it was before the Bronx was settled and even enjoys some swiftly rushing waterfalls here. A hemlock forest deep in the Botanical Gardens is left over from the pre-colonial era.

East 204th Street Bridge

Take East 204th Street walking east from Webster Avenue, cross the Metro-North tracks over a pedestrian truss bridge, and turn right on the nearest Bronx Park pedestrian path and you will find French Charley’s Playground, created as a Works Progress Administration effort in 1941. Long ago, the area of Norwood along the park and north of Mosholu Parkway was an enclave for French immigrants, and Charley Mangin operated a popular restaurant hereabouts in the 1890s.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


1 comment

Andy November 26, 2020 - 10:30 pm

Great-looking art deco apartment house at the right of the overpass, so typical of The Bronx. The northern leg of the Third Avenue Elevated ran on Webster Ave. north of Fordham Road, with stations at 200th St (Botanical Garden), 204th (a block from the playground), 210th, and Gun Hill Road/White Plains Road. The line was closed in Apri l 1973 and removed about a year or two later. Just south of this location, at Webster and Mosholu Parkway, an interesting three-level complex at which the Third Ave. El climbed high over the intersection on a series of arch bridges in order to clear Mosholu Parkway as it crosses over Webster Ave. Photo attached to this link shows the intersection in 1969. Building on the right is, I believe, the old 52nd Precinct police station.


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