The City of New York acquired the land that is now Andrews Playground through a number of property transactions. The original playground was one-half acre, and was acquired by condemnation for school purposes in 1900. Two years later, the Board of Education decided that a school was not needed on the site, but it was not until October 28, 1928, that the land was conveyed to Parks for playground purposes.
In 1932, the park opened to the public. That same year, the Board of Alderman named the facility Andrews Playground for one John F. Andrews (1896-1980) “to do honor to the memory of one active in the civic affairs of the Borough of Queens during his lifetime.” Unfortunately, we know very little about Andrews, save that he was born on December 15, 1896, in Long Island City, Queens, and died in August of 1980. Soon after the playground first opened, it underwent massive reconstruction and reopened in 1936 equipped with a children’s play area and comfort station.
In 1951, Andrews Playground was enlarged. The City of New York acquired one of the park’s additions by private purchase in 1951, and the other by condemnation in 1955. These two additions brought the park to its current size of 2.542 acres.
Andrews Playground resides at the intersection of 49th Avenue, 5th Street, and Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens. The playground’s facilities include two play areas for children equipped with climbing structures and swings, sitting areas with benches and game tables, walkways, trees, and greenery. The 108th Precinct police station resides at the rear of the playground.
Readers of this sign who have information on the life of John F. Andrews (1896-1980) should contact the Parks Library at (212) 360-8240.