Pickle Park has a long history in Greenlawn and Harborfields with strong ties to the community.
May 1924: Gala parade through Village to mark cornerstone-laying ceremony for new Greenlawn School Building at 31 Broadway. 5 acres purchased from Ed Smith, “Dealer in all kinds of Farm and Road Machinery” (1 of 12 original families) for $9,088. Ed Smith was permitted to continue to “plow, harvest and plant” seed and rye on parcel.
NOTE: 1920’s: “white pickle disease” afflicted crop in area. Local farmers stopped planting pickles and discontinued in 1930s.
September 1924: School known as Greenlawn Grammar School opens.
1952: School becomes known as Broadway School. High School students attend Huntington HS.
September 1959: 130 students attend the new High School which opens on Taylor Avenue. Centerport and Greenlawn Districts consolidate. Contest is held to name district and “Harborfields” wins (combination of Centerport’s original name: Little Cow Harbor and Greenlawn’s: Oldfields.)
January 1971: Harborfields Public Library begins service to the community from a 10 x 50 trailer parked at the Taylor Avenue School complex.
September 30, 1971: Library (HPL) gets new home in wing of HS.
November 1971: TJ Lahey opens
November 5, 1975: Special BOE meeting to decide whether portion of HS fields should be given to HPL.
January 20, 1976: OMS site considered for Library. Decided that property site would not interfere with OMS athletics. Facilities Utilization Committee recommends Broadway School be kept open through 1977-78 school year.
March 17, 1976: Vote 4 to 3 that Broadway School closes before 1975-76 school year. BOE approaches Library about acquiring the plot. At the time the Library was in the middle of hiring an engineer for construction of new library building at OMS. Library Board agrees to accept the property since it would be centrally located. “If Public Library takes over the Broadway School, the playground will be maintained.” Dr. Johnson, Superintendent, said in response to public comments at BOE meeting.
April 12, 1976: HPL receives letter from Library attorney stating that Library cannot legally operate a playground.
April 28, 1976: BOE receives letter from Marvin Mouncie, Library Director, requesting what restoration would be required at site.
May 19, 1976: Resolution made to convey the Broadway School property to the HPL with the intention that it will revert to the School District in the event it is not used as the primary HPL site. The Broadway School Building and the whole parcel is deeded to the Library for $10.
May 24, 1976: Library Board to determine “extent and condition of the playground.”
May 26, 1976: Doctor Johnson presented a map prepared by the Library indicating site requirements that “dealt with the extending of the playground area to be set aside from that portion of the site to be conveyed to the Library.” (BOE Minutes)
June 2, 1976: Marie Ricciardipresented a petition with over 200 signatures stating opposition of the creation of a blacktop parking area over a portion of existing playground.
June 2, 1976: Resolved that BOE will convey Broadway School to HPL for $10 for use as the principal site of HPL effective July 1, 1976. Title will revert to BOE if HPL ceases or stops using it as primary site.
June – December 1976: Library conductsengineer reports, begins improvements, while parking and street traffic is a concern of neighbors. GCHA, Arts League, and a preschool rent space from HPL. In an attempt to “lessen the impact” of the Library moving into the building, Library returns parcel behind building to the School District (Mary Agosta)
June 16, 1976: Dr Johnson reported on the conveyance of the Broadway School. “The District has retained all of the present playground area and will maintain same.”
August 1976: Library moves into their new home, which had tripled in size.
November 17, 1976: Dr. Johnson relocates playground to District’s part of site.
December 1. 1976: Playground moved and permanently installed. BOE is looking into maintenance and upgrading. (Library Minutes)
March 15, 1979: Parking issues continue but Library Board states that “property involved belongs to the School District and Library has no jurisdiction over it.” (HPL Minutes)
September 26, 1990: BOE will update playground equipment, but indicates that replacement of the playground is not “precedent -setting decision.” (BOE Minutes
January 1994: Greenlawn Civic Association Newsletter states “The school district was kind enough to donate the property while the Town of Huntington provided all the play equipment and necessary construction.”
May 1994: Student at TJ Lahey wins GCA “Name the Park Contest” with the name “Pickle Park.”
December 19, 2001: Referendum at OMS for authorization to convey to HPL 65 feet adjacent to HPL (15%) Existing playground would be moved slightly and the remaining 85% of property would continue to be used for recreational purposes. The additional land would be utilized to expand parking. (attached)
April 9, 2002: Library Bond Budget Vote – Bond Referendum and Trustee Election: $8,700,000 to “expand and renovate Library facilities, including construction of a basement area… and expand the existing parking facilities (“Capital Project”) ..where Library acquires additional space (65) for parking.”
April 25, 2002: Paul Elsener, Director; Sail Van Nostrand, Project Manager; Dr. Ray McCloat, discuss plans for playground and reconfigure of equipment as well as determine the building layout. Library agrees to move the playground and improve basketball area.
June 26, 2003: Expected removal of basketball court and old playground equipment.
June 22, 2003: Joseph Dragone, Ass’t Superintendent for Business, in a letter asked Library to “restore the basketball court with only one junior-sized basketball hoop on the end of the court furthest from the property line.” “The Board sees no need to create another regulation sized court at the Library.” (attached)
July 23, 2003: Library orders new playground equipment from Playworld Systems, with expected arrival date of August 8.
Dougher, Louise & Bloomgarden, Carol. Greenlawn A Long Island Hamlet. Arcadia Publishing, 2001.
Harborfields Central School District Minutes
Harborfields Public Library Board Minutes
Greenlawn Civic Association Newsletters
Interviews with: Louise Dougher & Carol Bloomgarden, Deanne Rathke (Greenlawn-Centerport Historical Association), Mary Agosta (HPL Board of Trustees), Carol Albano (Director HPL)
Susan Matthews March 6, 2014