Sara D Roosevelt Park opened in 1934.
President Franklin D Roosevelt gave this speech around 1936 from this building’s balcony:
His speech (audio recording here):
“There are some experiences in this life that give one new strength, a new purpose, to carry on. Today at the Statue of Liberty and now seeing this great gathering I obtain inspiration to go on with the task that is mine. And I am very happy for the first time because I have not driven through here for two or three years to see this park which was named after my dear mother. When that was done I can tell you very simply that I don’t believe I have ever seen her more happy in all her life.
I am just come from the ceremonies at the Statue of Liberty I spoke there of the steady stream of human resources which the old world poured on our shores and out of which our American civilization has been built. Many of the people who came past the statue of liberty settled in this section of New York City. Here they wove into the pattern of American life some of the color, some of the richness of the cultures from which they came. Here they joined in that great process out of which we have welded our American citizenship. We gave them freedom. I am proud, America is proud, of what they have given to us. They have never been, they are not now, half-hearted Americans. The great majority of the new and the old do not confuse the word liberty with the word license. They appreciate that the American standard of freedom does not include the right to do things to hurt our own neighbors. They, who have never been so free before, rejoice in our freedom. Our liberty is warmed by the fire of their devotion.”