Throughout the course of New York’s nearly 400-year history, Bowling Green has seen its fair share of historic events. As the city’s oldest public park, it’s been repurposed several times over the years, serving not only as council grounds for Native American tribes, but also as a parade field, a cattle market and an actual bowling green for lawn bowling. With such a storied history, it’s no surprise that Bowling Green is also full of secrets.
1. Bowling Green Is Surrounded By the Oldest Fence in New York City
Bowling Green was designated a park in 1733, but the wrought iron fence that surrounds it also dates back to the 18th century. It was installed in 1771 to protect a giant statue of King George III that was erected in the park six years earlier by the British government. Over the years, it came to serve as a gathering place for anti-English protests as tensions rose between Britain and her colonies; while New York’s oldest fence still stands today, it bears hefty scars from this era. The fence posts, once decorated with royal crown-shaped finials, were sawed off on July 9th in an act of defiance by the Sons of Liberty.