Silver Lake Park, Silver Lake Staten IslandPosted by Anthony Licciardello on Thursday, August 16th, 2012 at 1:44pm.
For centuries, ice harvesting had been a big part of the winter season. During the 19th century, the harvesting of Silver Lake’s ice was very important. During the remaining seasons, the lake was used for swimming, boating, fishing, and ice skating. The area also held 1897’s National Skating Amateur Championship races. Around 1911, refrigerators were made available to the United States, rendering the industry of ice harvesting useless. In 1917, Silver Lake was drained to be used as a reservoir. It was later replaced by underground storage tanks.
Silver Lake Park was Staten Island’s first established city park. By the end of the 19th century, the growing population called for a park that could match the attraction of Central and Prospect Parks in Manhattan and Brooklyn, respectively. During the first few years of the 20th century, the lake and surrounding land were purchased to be converted into a park.
During the Great Depression, the Federal Theatre Project, which was established in 1935, would fund performances during the summer at Silver Lake. People would sit in the grass and enjoy the performances. People would still gather years after the Depression to watch the Staten Island Musicians Society Band.
During the early 1800’s, immigrants coming to Staten Island would be sent to the Quarantine Hospitals on Staten Island if they had an infectious disease. The area to the north of Victory Boulevard was once occupied by Marine Cemetery, which was used to bury the patients of the Quarantine Hospitals. In 1928, the land was developed into a golf course, which was completed the following year.
Next to the golf course, you will find the Veranda Café. The café is open seven days a week and accommodates many guests. The Oak Room seats 60 guests and is used mainly for special occasions. The Grill Room has a bar and four large televisions which have cable. Both rooms have double doors which lead to the patio. The 100-foot long patio offers seating as well, and overlooks the golf course and sunset.
Aside from the golf course and Veranda Café, there are many other facilities in Silver Lake Park. During the early-mid 20th century, tennis courts, a baseball field, and a playground were constructed. In 1988, a new administration building was constructed. Nine years later, the park was almost completely redone. New benches, fences, guide rails, plants and handball courts were added. In addition, the walkways were repaved.
There are three bus stop located on the Victory Boulevard side of the park. There is the 61, which will take you to St. George or the Staten Island Mall; the 62, which will take you to St. George and Travis; and the 66, which will take you to St. George and Port Richmond. On the Forest Avenue side of the park, you also have the 48, which will take you to St. George or Mariners Harbor.
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