Von Briesen Park in Shore Acres, Staten Island is a majestic waterfront secret.

Posted by Anthony Licciardello on Saturday, May 5th, 2012 at 1:42pm.

Von Briesen Park, also known as Arthur Von Briesen Park, is located on the northeastern shore of Staten Island. The park is bordered by Bay Street and North Road. Von Briesen Park extends outward from Bay Street into The Navon_briesen_park_bridge_400rrows. This park contains about ten acres of park-land and about two acres of water. Von Briesen Park was named after Arthur Von Briesen (1843 – 1920). This park used to hold Arthur Von Briesen's estate before he passed away. He bought this property in 1901 as a summer home, which he named "Gernda", a German term for "wishing to be there".

Arthur Von Briesen was a German immigrant who came to the United States in 1858. He studied law up until the start of the Civil War when he enlisted in the First New York Volunteers. In the war he served as sergeant of Company B. Once the war was over in 1865, Arthur Von Briesen returned to New York to finish his studies at the New York University School of Law. It wasn't until 1868, that he completed his studies and was admitted to the New York Bar. In 1874, Arthur Von Briesen started his own firm practicing mostly patent law and became a well-respected lawyer. In 1890, Arthur Von Briesen was appointed as the president of Der Detscher Rechts-Schutz Verein (The German Legal Aid Society). It wasn't until 1896 when the name of the society changed to The Legal Aid Society. Arthur Von Briesen was the president of The Legal Aid Society until 1916, when the start of World War I happened.

 

 

Arthur Von Briesen was a well-established lawyer and philanthropist. He was involved in many German and American organizations. Some of the German organizations include Deutscher Gesellig-wissenschaftlicher Verein (Germanvon_briesen_park_3_400 Gregarious-Scientific Society), Deutsches Hospital (German Hospital), Liederkranz, and Deutsche Gesellschaft (German Society). Some of the American organizations were the Good Government Club, The Legal Aid Society, Political and Citizens Union, Ellis Island Investigating Committee, the New York Roosevelt League, the Universal Congress of Lawyers and Jurists in St. Louis, Veterans' Association, and the National Alliance of Legal Aid Societies.

Arthur Von Briesen died of a heart disease on May 13, 1920. From his death up until 1945, this land was left unused. In 1945, his heirs Mrs. Fritz Von Briesen, Mrs. Harrison Tweed, and Mr. Arthur Menken, donated the parcel of land to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. It wasn't until 1949 that the park actually opened to the public. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner, Robert Moses, von_briesen_park_2_400assessed the main house and other building on the land as beyond repair and ordered them to be demolished.

The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation denied all attempts to add any type of recreational facilities to this park, since they thought that is was "the most beautiful passive park in the city." This park contains open space to play or relax in, an off-leash dog run, paths that go throughout the park, benches, and an overlook to see the water and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The off-leash dog run is located in the middle of the park on the right side of the lawn area. In 2001, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation made some renovations to the park. They reconstructed the paths, the overlook, the parking lot, and the entrance plaza.

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