Printers’ Playground

A playground in the Bronx, near the site of the original Robert Hoe factory (when it moved to the Bronx from its original location in lower Manhattan) will get a playground with jungle gym reminiscent of the old Hoe rotary presses (example shown at right).

For bibliophiles, Robert Hoe built an extraordinary library in late 19th Century New York (the “Hoe Sale” was one of the first major book auctions in the US that got European attention), and in 1884, Hoe was one of the co-founders of the Grolier Club.

Photo of the playground is here:
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/29/hot-off-the-presses-a-jungle-jim/

NYC Parks Dept description, including the Hoe background (excerpted below):
http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/X284/

Like other wealthy businessmen of his time, Hoe’s success led him to settle comfortably in Hunts Point –on land that encompassed the footprint of this park. [….]

In 1904, a portion of the estate was divided into a series of city streets which were named after historic printers. Guttenberg Street (sic), named for Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the early 15th century printing press, was renamed East 165th Street in 1911. Aldus Street is named for Aldo Manuzio, a late 15th century Italian printer and editor who used the new printing press to revive dozens of Latin and Greek classics, and published contemporary writers such as Erasmus. Hoe Avenue refers to Richard March Hoe whose rotary printing press of the 19th century built upon the inventions of Gutenberg and Manuzio….

(h/t Gothamist)

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Published by Paul Romaine

Paul Romaine is a grant writer and independent curator in New York City.

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