Bronx New Deal - Photo #501 - Owen F. Dolen Park

Owen F. Dolen Park in the Bronx on Westchester Square, the triangle formed by East Tremont Avenue, Lane Avenue, and Westchester Avenue, as seen from the platform of the 6 Train (former BMT Lexington Avenue - Pelham Bay line), June 10, 2015. From the New York City Parks Department press release of March 14, 1941, announcing the "completion of reconstruction at Owen F. Dolen Park":
...two half-acre plots, separated by Benson Street, serve chiefly as pedestrian connections and sitting areas with open central grass areas bounded by four foot wrought iron fences and trees. Continuous benches line the interior walks and boundary sidewalks, providing adequate seating accommodations for this densely populated section. The existing walks of cinders, bluestone and macadam have been widened and rebuilt of concrete. Street trees have been planted along all curbs except adjacent to the West Chester Avenue elevated structure.

The smaller of the two triangles to the south contains the building which houses the stairway approach to the transit station. The north triangle retains the existing two story brick library and comfort station at the east end of the park. At the northern tip of this triangle a small wrought iron fence enclosed grass plot has been built which retains undisturbed a World War memorial which was relocated from an adjacent position.

Plans for this improvement were prepared by the Department of Parks and the work performed by the Work Projects Administration.

Owen F. Dolen (1864-1925) was the person who campaigned for the World War memorial mentioned above and shown here. According to the Parks Department website, "the Works Progress Administration (WPA) [had already] expanded [the] 1927 comfort station into a branch of the New York Public Library". The building was expanded again 1982 to become the Owen Dolen Golden Age Center, and now it's the Owen Dolen Recreation Center with a kitchen, computer lab, fitness room, study room, performance space, and billiards and pool tables for use by area residents. The two halves of the park were joined in 1993. A $4.5M remodeling in 2013 included a new stage for outdoor performances (to the left of the buildng) and a pedestrian plaza, seen in front of the building.