Greenpoint Playground lies in the neighborhood of Greenpoint, at the junction of Franklin, Commercial and DuPont Streets. When European mariners arrived here in the 17th century, they called the entire peninsula “Greenpoint” because of a grassy bluff on the bank of the East River. The Dutch bought Greenpoint, including what would become Williamsburg and Bushwick-Ridgewood, from the Keskachauge in 1638 and named it Boswijck (Bushwick) Township. A Scandinavian ship’s carpenter, Dirck Volckertsen, acquired Greenpoint from the Dutch in 1645. The land then passed to a Dutch military captain, Pieter Praa, and afterwards to an inventor and industrialist, Neziah Bliss.
When Greenpoint’s streets were further laid out in the mid-19th century, they received a letter designation in alphabetical order, running roughly southeast starting with A Street and ending with O Street. Many neighborhood residents did not like these initial names, and the streets were renamed with more colorful names, while keeping pattern. A Street became Ash Street, followed by Box, Clay, DuPont, Eagle, Freeman, Green, Huron, India, Java, Kent, Lincoln, Milton, Noble, and Oak. Lincoln Street was later changed to Greenpoint Avenue.
The City of New York acquired this property in 1925. The small set of concrete steps facing Franklin Street mark the spot of a comfort station that was removed in the 1990s. The playground is ringed by beautiful shade trees, beneath which are benches, providing a cool respite for the hot and tired during the summer months. A playset with safety surfacing, toddler and child swings, and a spray shower give children ample outlets for activity. A flagpole and yardarm displays the flags of the United States, the City of New York, and Parks. The park is well lit at night by a large lighting tower.