3. Duane Park was the first public space acquired by the city as a public park
In 1797, around the same time that St. John’s Park was laid out, Trinity Church sold the 0.12-acre plot of land at Hudson and Duane Streets to the city for five dollars for use as a public park. One of New York City’s oldest parks, it was, in fact, the first public space acquired by the city specifically for use as a public park. The city named the park and the adjacent street after James Duane, New York City’s first mayor after the Revolutionary War, who also happened to be a prominent parishioner at Trinity Church.
Initially an open green space, the park was later enclosed by an iron fence. It underwent a few redesigns over the years, including a restoration in the 1990s after being severely neglected. It’s surrounded by beautiful 19th-century buildings.