Straus Park, 106th St.
This park is named for Isidor Straus and his wife Ida, who died on April 15, 1912 on the S.S. Titanic. Its tightly organized black fences give it the air of a small London square. The inscription on the rear exedra of the Straus Memorial pays tribute to Ida’s decision to remain aboard with her husband rather than save herself by boarding a lifeboat with the women and children. Here is a newspaper story about the opening of the park in 1915.
This land was acquired by the City in 1895 and was previously known as Schuyler Square and as Bloomingdale Square, which took its name from Bloomingdale Road, the former name of Broadway. It remained unimproved, however, until the Straus Memorial was installed at the site. The park also played a part in Revolutionary War history as the western end of the fortification built by British forces following their capture of Manhattan on September 15, 1776. It was named for the Strauses, who lived in a frame house at 2747 Broadway, near 105th Street, by the Board of Aldermen in 1912. The fountain, in which the bronze figure of Memory reclines in contemplation, was dedicated on April 15, 1915. It was funded by citizens’ contributions and created by sculptor Augustus Lukeman and architect Evarts Tracy.
From 1995 to 1997 Straus Park was renovated and expanded to the west, by the addition of 15 feet of West End Avenue. Improvements in the $800,000 capital project included the addition of benches, lighting, shrubs, fencing, and paving. Restoration of the monument, for which the Straus family has established an endowment fund, included the transformation of its reflecting pool into a planting bed. The
Friends of Straus Park was formed to promote security, cleanliness, and programming in the park.