Printers Park Upgrades Hoe Homesite with Press Playground

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By: E&P Staff

On South Bronx property the New York City Parks Department acquired in 1997 and partly renovated four years later, city and state officials opened a new playground on July 29 at the site of Richard March Hoe’s mansion that recalls the former owner’s contribution top newspaper printing.

Thanks to $1 million allocated by a local city council member, Printers Park was re-landscaped with additional trees, benches, fountains and a shower that diverts runoff to irrigate plantings were installed, and playground equipment was replaced with what resemble rotary press components, including graduated steps that mimic press cylinders, a white concrete pathway that winds through like a newsprint web.

Hoe’s 1846 “lightning press” replaced the flatbed printing surface with a revolving cylinder, a design that eventually was able to accept paper from rolls rather than individual sheets. The resulting faster press enabled the printing of larger number of newspapers in a timely fashion. Hoe, who farmed and raised cattle nearby, died 40 years later and is buried about two miles away at St. Ann’s Church.

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