Corporal Thompson Park is located on the North Shore of Staten Island, in the neighborhood of West Brighton. It is bordered by the streets of Broadway, Henderson Avenue, and Chappell Street. Corporal Thompson Park has about ten acres of land that were transformed into an outdoors sports recreation park. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation acquired this land around the 1970s.
Before this parcel of land became a part of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation's territory, it was used for factories. In 1851, Barrett Nephews & Company used this land for a dry cleaning and cloth dyeing factory. In the early to mid-20th century, Barrett Nephews & Company closed down their Staten Island location and moved to Manhattan. From 1947 to 1962, Albert D. Smith & Company used this land to manufacture window shade cloth, book cloth, and industrial tape.
In 1972, the park was named after Corporal Lawrence Curtis Thompson. Lawrence Curtis Thompson was a United States Marine Corps Corporal who served with the honor guard during the Vietnam War. Corporal Thompson was a war hero who enlisted twice in the United States Marine Corps. While serving on his second tour in Southeast Asia's Vietnam, he was killed in action on June 10th, 1967. Corporal Thompson Park was named after Corporal Lawrence Curtis Thompson to honor him as the first African-American to be killed in the Vietnam War from Staten Island.
Corporal Thompson Park is more of a sports recreation park than anything else. This park holds such recreational facilities as a baseball field, a field for soccer or football, a running track, basketball courts, a playground area, and a pool. In 2009, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation started to update the field that was being used for football and soccer, in addition to the running track. They replaced the natural turf with a synthetic turf field and replaced the old running track with a new asphalt running track. The new field came equipped for the facilities of discus throw, shot-put, javelin, high jump, pole vault, hurdles, and steeplechase. They also added recreation lighting so that the field could be used in the evenings. Some other updates that had been added to Corporal Thompson Park by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation are water fountains, a spray mister, benches, and new pavements. Corporal Thompson Park is unique, due to the fact that it is the only park on Staten Island that has an outdoor public running track.
The playground area of Corporal Thompson Park is located to the north of the baseball field. You can get to this part of the park through the entrance that is located on Broadway. In the playground area of the park there benches, a comfort station, a play unit, spray fountains, swings, and an open grass field to play in. The pool located in Corporal Thompson Park is also known as the West Brighton Pool. There are actually two separate pools. The first pool is an intermediate pool for the older children and adults. The second pool is a wading pool, which is for the younger children. The pool area is located to the south of the football/soccer field. To be able to get in, you must go through the entrance on Henderson Avenue.