Gramercy Park Block Association - Neighborhood News #482
Today is the 182nd birthday of Gramercy Park!

This Day in NYC History December 17th:
Gramercy Park Was Established in 1831

by phillipe martin chatelain 
Christmas tree inside Gramercy Park
On December 17, 1831 a deed by Samuel Ruggles established the plot of land between 3rd Avenue and Park Avenue South from 18th to 21st Streets as Gramercy Park. Today one of the priciest and most exclusive parts of the city, this historic district features tree-shaded streets and 19th century residences that stem from 1840s brownstones to Victorian and neo-Geothics. Ruggles drained the swamp that was previously there, planting all types of trees. Still, it was hard to convince people to live this far uptown but Ruggles had a vision and continued to plant.
Edwin Booth statue in Gramercy Park

The deed of 1831 added privileges to the park only for its surrounding residents. These hold true today-Gramercy Park is completely closed by lock and key, accessible to tenants of the Gramercy district. Ruggles is also responsible for laying out Irving Place, named for his friend Washington Irving, and the portion of Lexington Avenue that runs south to north. According to Essortment, Ruggles did this "in the face of the prevailing wisdom that a maritime city's main thoroughfares should run east and west between the rivers. Sam knew the city would grow north and the people would come. When they did come, the residents received golden keys with which to unlock the gate to the park."


Here are some quirky facts and notables about Gramercy Park, also from Essortment: