There's some question about the official name of the playground. Elsie Anzalone contributed a number of shots and always knew it as the Elton St. playground. Cynthia Rongione has also contributed shots and knew it as the Liberty playground. Rod Maggio, who knew all the "parkees" advises that the city knew it as "Linwood Park". It was created in the late 1939/early 1940, bordered by Liberty and Atlantic, Elton and Linwood. Thanks to Rod for a rundown on the parkee history.
|Elton and Atlantic|
I rearranged these photos to take advantage of work done by Neil Sullivan. We both believe the 1938 shot is a view south, and thus where the work is being done is the eventual site of the playground. Neil provides a current view; the street no longer goes through and I.S. 302 sits on the site of the playground.
|Liberty Park, 1940|
Phil Santella sent in these pix of the relatively new park in 1940. The first view is with Elton Street in the background and the second is with Linwood in the background.
Cynthia Rongione submitted several shots of the playground, including this one from 1964. I moved it here next to Neil's 2006 shot of Liberty to show the Banner Candy Manufacturing building is still there 42 years later. Rod Maggio recalls; "Philly Capasso did the trucking for Banner, his brother-in-law Mike drove the flatbed trailer with the loads of sugar bags." Note the top of that building and look at the background of the 1938 shot.
|On the left, an update shot of the Banner Candy building taken by Vinny Capasso in december 2011. The corner luncheonette was once run by "JuJu", Roni Perrone's dad, and Roni supplies a pic circa 1959.|
|Liberty Playground, 1964-5|
Not only does Cynthia Rongione contribute a great photo of the playground, but she corrected my orientation of the older photo on the left, from the 1940's. That great shot comes from "aRRt's aRRchives", a site dedicated to the LIRR, which can be found here
|Liberty Park Ice Skating, 1950|
Phil "Duke" Santella explained to me that the park used to have a shallow wading pool for the kids in summer, and in winter they would fill it and let it freeze for ice skaters. That's Phil in a 1950 shot and on the right a view on Elton St. looking north in 1951 with the park on the right.
|Bob Reddington supplied a Liberty Park picture taken in the 1950s with Carmella Gigante of Linwood Street.|
These 1960 shots from Cynthia Rongione are the corner of Elton and Liberty by the park.
|Liberty Playground, 1963|
Some more great contributions from Cynthia, pictures with her father Marcello in 1963. In the first shot there appears to be some street vendors along Liberty Ave. in the background.
|Liberty (Elton St.) Playground|
It appears the playground did not have a formal name and each person has their own name for it.I'm repeating these images contributed by Elsie Anzalone that I had already placed in Zone 3- to keep all the park pictures together. I believe Public School 302 is located here now. Correction - it is the Rafael Cordero Intermediate School 302; that correction sent by my two younger brothers who attended it!
|The first shot is interesting because it dates the park-if the information is correct, the playground did not exist in 1937. Now that we have pinpointed the 1938 photo above it all fits. Thats Elsie with her aunt in the 1941 photo on the right. Thanks of course to Elsie and daughter Lisa for the photos.|
This softball picture dovetails nicely into some memories sent by Vinny Anello; "I played a lot of softball there in 1965, almost every Sunday for a bar team "Al Lounge" on the corner of Pitkin and Van Siclen, we never beat a team from the American Legion post across the street on Elton street I think it was called (Sperendeo) Bros. My best memory was hitting a ball over the hand ball courts on to Atlantic avenue, I've only seen one other guy do it, his name was Ralph (I don't remember his last name), he was about a year or so older than me, an all around good ball player, like me not tall but strong wrists, it was a homerun hitting contest into the handball courts every week. After the games what was better than getting lemon ice from the old man in the small Garage near the corner of Elton and Atlantic (Willies), the best ever. In my teen years I played baseball for the 75th pct. and lied about my age to play Babe Ruth ball in Ridgewood, we played a lot in Highland Park and the best field was Victory field in Forest park, I was almost two years too young for Babe Ruth, that's why I lied."