Located at the corner of Bartow Avenue and Page Avenue, in Tottenville, you will find Aesop Park and Playground. This park opened in May of 2001 and was built for the students of Public School 6. Public School 6 had originally opened in 1894. The original school building was eventually given over to the Commissioners of the Sinking Fund in July of 1902. In 1901, the school reopened at another location on Rossville Avenue. This building was known as Old P.S. 6. In December of 1945, the Board of Education decided that the school building was unfit to be used as an elementary school and was closed. After it was closed, the Marimac Novelty Company used the building as a factory. Finally, after some time, the school reopened for a third time in September of 2000, as New P.S. 6. The new school building is located on Page Avenue between Academy Avenue and Bartow Avenue.
Aesop Park may have originally been intended for use just by the school. Today, however, it is a place that the public may enjoy, as well. The property of the park itself is owned by the school, but it is operated by the Board of Education and the Department of Parks and Recreation. Aesop Park was designed in a way which would enable it to fit into the woodland that was already there. This not only provided a naturalistic feel for the park, but was also used to help design the theme of the park.
The park, as you may have guessed, got its name and theme from the famous Greek fable story-teller, Aesop. Aesop had been born into slavery and, after being freed, told his moral-of-the-story fables by word-of-mouth, as he did not know how to write. These fables were told over and over again for years, which is how we are familiar with them. You can clearly see the theme of the park through the bronze sculptures, a spray fountain, and the front gate, which are all based off of his fables.
When you first enter the park on the corner of Bartow Avenue and Page Avenue, you will see the gate which is designed from "The Fox and the Grapes". Once past the gates, there is an American Bison sculpture, which is supposed to be from "The Gnat and the Bull". Directly behind the bison is a tree-designed flag pole. On this, kids can find other sculptures of fables, including "The Ants and the Grasshopper" and "The Mouse and the Frog". Inside the park, there are two large sculptures for kids to enjoy. One is of a fox, from "The Fox and the Grapes" and the other is of a tortoise and hare, from "The Tortoise and the Hare". The spray fountain is based on "The North Wind and the Sun". It has two concrete columns that are carved with swirls of clouds and a face in the middle of them, to represent the wind. The sun is represented by the colored pavement surrounding the columns. During the summer months, water sprays from twenty-five different streams that come out of the ground and the columns.
Along with these features there is an amphitheater, a play unit, swings, and a fitness trail. The amphitheater was built around the spray fountain. It has three seating levels of grass. This gives teachers from P.S. 6 a place to have outdoor classes, and the public a place to read or just relax. The fitness trail leads into the adjacent Long Pond Park, which stretches all the way to Amboy Road.