East Harlem Art Park is located at the corner of East 120th Street and Sylvan Place, a small road between Lexington and 3rd Avenues that was closed off for use as parkland. The City of New York originally acquired the first part of this property, a .174-acre plot directly behind the Harlem Courthouse, as a site for a public bath in 1929. The bath never materialized and the site lay vacant for nine years. By 1938, the land had become a popular informal sitting park, but Parks did not acquire jurisdiction over the land until 1945. Sylvan Place was closed off in the early 1980s between East 120th and East 121st Streets to be used as a park by the Casabe Houses, the neighboring senior citizen housing development. On October 30, 1992, about half of the closed off road was assigned to Parks and added to the existing park, doubling the size of the park.
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**Cited from https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/harlem-art-park**