Is this the oldest iron fence in New York City?

Stuyvesant Square, between east 15th and 17th Streets, is looking beautiful this summer.


This elegant swatch of flowers, benches, and fountains is split into two halves by Second Avenue, with both sections surrounded by a handsome black cast iron fence.

The fence was decreed by a descendent of Peter Stuyvesant, who in 1836 wanted to land to become a park enclosed by a fence “similar to that around Union Square.”


 Topped with spiked finials and cage posts, the seven-foot tall fence is impressive.

“It is technologically interesting as it is freestanding, without any lateral braces to support it, and stylistically interesting as a cast-iron version of Federal style ironwork built in 1847,” states the 1975 Landmarks Preservation Commission report designating it a city landmark

StuyvesantsquarewurtzbrosnyplAnd according to this NYC Parks Department page, it’s the oldest cast-iron fence in New York City.

It’s not the oldest iron fence in the city though. The wrought-iron fence around Bowling Green, put up in 1771 to protect a new statue of King George III from independence-minded colonists, still stands—predating Stuyvesant Square’s fence by 76 years.

[Right: Stuyvesant Square and its old-school fence in the 1930s, NYPL Digital Gallery]

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3 Responses to “Is this the oldest iron fence in New York City?”

  1. George Laszlo Says:

    My wife and I frequent this park at least once per week. We live just two blocks away. It’s a great contrast to Union Square Park which is always jumping. Stuyvesant Park is a neighborhood park and also serves the Quaker school students and the St. George Church congregation. A great place to sit and enjoy some ‘relative’ peace and quiet. There is one tree in the park that MAY have been planted by Stuyvesant. It must have a 15 foot circumference, at least.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I don’t live all that close, but I try to visit this park every week too. It’s lovely, and so much improved from years ago. The flowers around the fountain on the Rutherford Place side are beautiful. And yes, no hustlers or protesters.

    A tree possibly planted by Stuyvesant himself? I didn’t know that…but it sounds like a great future post!

  3. 전세계의 최신 영어뉴스 듣기 - 보이스뉴스 잉글리쉬 Says:

    […] Does Stuyvesant Square have the oldest iron fence in NYC? (Ephemeral New York) […]

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