The Peters of Second Avenue’s Peter’s Field

There’s a city park between First and Second Avenue and East 20th and 21st Streets that isn’t remarkable in any way—except for its curious name of Peter’s Field.

So who was Peter? Petrus Stuyvesant (right), the Dutch director-general of New Netherlands who ruled the city until 1664.

The park name is a play on the name of Stuyvesant’s sprawling farm, or Bouwerie, which once encompassed this location: Petersfield.

Of course, Stuyvesant graces a ton of other landmarks in the area: Stuyvesant Town, Stuyvesant High School (the original building), and Stuyvesant Square.

Peter’s Field also commemorates another famous Peter who lived in the neighborhood: Peter Cooper. He’s the Kips Bay glue manufacturer, founder of Cooper Union in 1859, and namesake of Peter Cooper Village.

Ah, but the little park pays homage to more Peters. Cast concrete plaques put up in the 1990s on the Second Avenue side honor Peter Rabbit, Peter Pan, Peter Piper, Peter Parker, and other fictional characters who share Stuyvesant and Cooper’s name.

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6 Responses to “The Peters of Second Avenue’s Peter’s Field”

  1. Nathan Says:

    Wow. Even when I’m not intimately familiar with something like this in the city, I’m usually, at least vaguely aware of it. This is completely a new one for me. And exceedingly cool. I’m going to have to go explore this one.

    Thanks for writing about it.

  2. wildnewyork Says:

    I’d never heard of it before until I stumbled upon it last Sunday….

  3. Upstate Ellen Says:

    A new one for me, too.

  4. BabyDave Says:

    Thanks for raising awareness of this. It’s a nice piece of whimsy in what is sort of the middle of nowhere.

  5. wildnewyork Says:

    Yeah, it’s sweet. The neighborhood also has a couple of apartment buildings called Petersfield, and now I know why!

  6. Looking for traces of Manhattan’s Sunfish Pond | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] beginning of the end of Sunfish Pond was sparked by industry. Peter Cooper, who lived nearby, opened a glue factory on the edge of the pond, “amid clover fields and buttonwood […]

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