5. McCarren Park Used to be Surrounded by Railroad Lines

Image via New York Public Library Maps Collection

Considering McCarren Park’s many facilities, it’s hard to believe that the park was once on a site surrounded by railroad lines. According to NYC Parks, the site was “divided into four blocks by street railroad lines.” The city acquired each land parcel separately between the years of 1903 and 1905, via condemnation as reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac. Almost immediately, two playgrounds were developed—one was for boys located at Bedford and North 14th streets, while the other was for girls at the corner of Manhattan and Driggs Avenues. Slowly but surely, several developments over the following years would further transform it into the bustling site of activity it is today.