Day 1218

Jacob Riis Triangle

May 1st, 2015

This tiny piece of parkland in Richmond Hill honors Jacob Riis, the social reformer, muckraking journalist, and flash photography pioneer who was also, fittingly, a champion of turning unused plots of land into small parks.

Riis moved to Richmond Hill with his wife and children in 1886. He had discovered the town on a long walk one day in 1884, and he was so impressed with what he called "the most beautiful spot I had ever seen" that he returned the next day to select a lot for his family's future house. He lived in the community for many years and became a member of the Church of the Resurrection, having left his previous church because it would not invite him to present his slide show lecture — the predecessor of his seminal 1890 book How the Other Half Lives — about the appalling living conditions endured by the city's poor.

One Comment

  1. Sandi says:

    How timely that the day this was posted was Riis’ birthday!

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