Allison Pond Park is a nine-acre piece of land that was named in honor of George William Allison. The park encompasses Allison Pond, as well as a brook that runs throughout the park. Allison Pond Park is in the neighborhood of Randall Manor and is bordered by Prospect Avenue, North Randall Avenue, and Brentwood Avenue. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation acquired this land in 1943, after having been transferred from the City of New York. The park is locateded in the Randall Manor neighborhood on Staten Island's North Shore.
Allison Pond Park was originally part of Sailors' Snug Harbor. Sailors' Snug Harbor was formed through Captain Robert Richard Randall's will in 1801. In his will, Robert distributed his estate to go to members of the Chamber of Commerce and members of the Marine Society, which he was immensely involved in. The remainder of his estate would be used to build an asylum for aged, decrepit, and worn-out seamen to live. In 1833, the home actually opened for these men, in the neighborhood of New Brighton. Allison Pond was used during this time to supply water to the asylum. Finally, in 1939, the City created a borough-wide municipal water system which took over the purpose of the pond.
Once the Parks Department gained operation of the park, Allison Pond and the brook were used for fishing by the local community. Allison Pond used to be one of the freshwater fishing spots that would attract fishermen. Along with the pond and brook, there is a stone pedestrian bridge that makes this area more attractive and relaxing. Another great feature of the pond is the addition of a fountain, which makes it that much more appealing.
Allison Pond Park offers a trail through the woods, as well as a dog run. The trail offers a relaxing walk through the park. There is the babbling brook and a wide variety of flowers and trees to be seen. The dog run is located in a field next to the pond, and is bordered by Prospect Avenue and Sailors' Snug Harbor Cemetery. In 1990, the Department of Parks and Recreation renovated the park. They added tree guards, new fencing and railings, boulders around the pond, and some new flowers and trees, which were planted throughout the park.
George William Allison was an important engineer who transformed the public works of Staten Island. He started off as a civil engineer at Morrison & Pettigrew and grew to be the president of the company. In the early twentieth century, he renamed the firm Norton, Allison, & Ettlinger and was president until he died, in 1939. Throughout his life on Staten Island he was involved in many public aspects, including many different boards and organizations. Most importantly, he became the Borough Works Commissioner of Richmond County (Staten Island) in 1934 and he supervised every Works Progress Administration project on Staten Island from 1936 until his death. The Works Progress Administration was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934.
This employed a great number of Staten Islanders, who had been unemployed due to the Great Depression, by the government. The Works Progress Administration was the largest industry for Staten Island during this time. Some of the more prominent projects were the building of Barrett Park Zoo, now known as the Staten Island Zoo, and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk.