6. De Witt Clinton Park
No one did as much to make the Erie Canal a reality as De Witt Clinton. A former Mayor of New York City, Clinton used his political skills to guide the canal proposal through a thicket of controversy to final approval. As governor, he oversaw the construction and completion of the great project. The canal’s success made his career and folks have talked of “Clinton’s Ditch” ever since.
Today, De Witt Clinton Park is a six-acre oasis on Manhattan’s West Side. The park contains the Erie Canal Playground, where a design on the pavement depicts the route of the famous waterway. The surrounding neighborhood, once known as Hell’s Kitchen, is now called Clinton.