5. Veterans Park, Staten Island (1836)

Veteran’s Park is Staten Island’s oldest park, laid out in 1836. Originally Port Richmond Park, the site was renamed after World War II in 1949, as a tribute to local veterans. The park was at one time enclosed by a cast-iron fence but is now an open green space, providing a recreational site for community residents and features one of the original Andrew Carnegie libraries on its edge.

Port Richmond, which had also been known as Ryer’s Landing, Mersereau’s Landing, and Decker’s Landing, was a well-populated mid-19th-century port town. Lumber and coal yards surrounded the waterfront, and freight and passenger boats stopped in Port Richmond on the way to New York City. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was born just blocks from this park. The ferry service was discontinued when the Bayonne Bridge, which is still visible from Veteran’s Park, opened in 1931.

At the corner of the park sits a large decorative drinking fountain with an engraved dedication to Eugene G. Putnam, known as Putnam Memorial. The park also features a large flagpole in the center. A stone monument with a plaque commemorates Sullivan’s Attack of August 22, 1777, when Revolutionary War officer John Sullivan led an unsuccessful night attack on Staten Island.