Why are there tombstones around Socrates Sculpture Park? A look at a riverside New York City park surrounded by a wall of tombstones.

It seems that very few people have asked this question, at least on the internet, and there are no obvious answers. There is, however, a fascinating history behind this little park, as well as a whole host of possibilities for how this site came by its morbid gravestone wall.

Highlights include:
• The ultimate NYC villain: real estate developers
• A forgotten creek
• Queens’ penchant for illegal dumping grounds
• Two sculptors’ dreams of creating an open-air gallery

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Sources consulted RE: tombstones around Socrates Sculpture Park

Books

Articles

  • Martin, Douglas. “Philosophies Differ on Future of Socrates Sculpture Park.” New York Times, 11 Aug. 1997. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A150303177/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=d82bdc7a. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • “City Art Panel Names Nine Design Winners.” New York Times, 3 May 1986. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A176384041/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=5dabafca. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • Mcgill, Douglas C. “A SCULPTURE PARK GROWS IN QUEENS.” New York Times, 27 Aug. 1986. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A176333799/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=a0136bbb. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • Brenson, Michael. “GALLERY VIEW; Di Suvero’s Dream of a Sculpture Park Grows in Queens.” New York Times, 12 Oct. 1986. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A176302046/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=0aabdabf. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • Yarrow, Andrew L. “14 REASONS WHY NEW YORK IS NEW.” New York Times, 3 Oct. 1986. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A176298273/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=a5bbadd3. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • Brenson, Michael. “City as Sculpture Garden: Seeing the New and Daring.” New York Times, 17 July 1987. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A176103620/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=77574bf2. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • Yarrow, Andrew L. “Art and History With River View Of Manhattan.” New York Times, 15 July 1988. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A175911795/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=a65aa516. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • Brenson, Michael. “Bold Sculpture for Wide-Open Spaces.” New York Times, 21 July 1989. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A175735611/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=2bc0b1b4. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • Brown, Frank. “If You’re Thinking of Living in: Astoria.” New York Times, 27 Aug. 1989. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A175747944/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=b9301eb6. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • Brenson, Michael. “Sculpture for Troubled Places.” New York Times, 15 Oct. 1989. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A175778280/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=56b200a3. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.
  • Shepard, Richard F. “Astoria, a Greek Isle in the New York City Sea.” New York Times, 15 Nov. 1991. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A175384893/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=17dd4729. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.
  • Brenson, Michael. “Cityful of Sculpture Under the Sky.” New York Times, 26 July 1991. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A175288866/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=2e3e11c9. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.
  • “POSTINGS: Free Guide to Institutions; Arts in Long Island City.” New York Times, 20 Dec. 1992. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A175005016/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=ac7cf315. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.
  • Hevesi, Dennis. “Sculpture Garden Rises in a New Patch of Green; The Latest Addition to New York City’s Park System, Named for a Philosopher.” New York Times, 26 May 1994. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A174435347/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=60c60ec9. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.
  • Holloway, Lynette. “NEIGHBORHOOD REPORT: LONG ISLAND CITY; Trailblazing for Urban Hikers.” New York Times, 19 June 1994. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A174445989/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=35863190. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.
  • Steel, Tanya Wenman. “Gingham Checks and Thou.” New York Times, 22 June 1994. New York State Newspapers, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A174443349/SPN.SP01?u=nypl&sid=SPN.SP01&xid=d1ea8f96. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Websites

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AVfg3Jr1Rps
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrBV3gRyiMU
  • https://wsbj.com/sorabji/2017/02/18/disintegrating-into-dirt-inverted-tombstones-obscure-memories.html
  • https://wsbj.com/sorabji/2020/11/02/the-mystery-of-socrates-sculpture-parks-wall-of-tombstones.html
  • https://untappedcities.com/2016/11/29/top-10-secrets-of-socrates-sculpture-park-in-nyc/?displayall=true
  • https://urbanomnibus.net/2016/12/socrates-30/
  • https://qns.com/2020/10/work-to-begin-on-hallets-cove-waterfront-this-winter/
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Costa_Constantinideshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates_Sculpture_Park
  • https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/socrates-sculpture-parkhttps://6tocelebrate.org/site/socrates-sculpture-park/
  • https://www.nytimes.com/1986/10/12/arts/gallery-view-di-suvero-s-dream-of-a-sculpture-park-grows-in-queens.html
  • https://issuu.com/socratessculpturepark/docs/socrates_30th_anniversary_book_1610
  • https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/realestate/337-affordable-apartments-up-for-grabs-in-lics-5-pointz-towers/ar-BB1e1m7b
  • https://www.hallettspoint.com/#availabilities
  • https://socratessculpturepark.org/artist/andrea-solstad/
  • https://socratessculpturepark.org/artist/sandy-williams-iv/
  • https://socratessculpturepark.org/artist/jeffrey-gibson/
  • https://socratessculpturepark.org/artist/paul-ramirez-jonas/

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