Von Briesen purchased this land in 1901; he named it “Gernda”, translating to “wishing to be there” in German. The property was originally an orchard and greenhouse and Von Briesen maintained it during his residency.
Von Briesen passed away in 1920 but his property wasn't donated to the Parks Department until 1949. It was then that the home was demolished by the Parks Comissioner. The park wasn't open to the public until 1949, no recreational facilities were added, City of New York Parks & Recreation stated, "Parks determined that the site remain the most beautiful passive park in the city.”
Park paths, the overlook, parking lot and entrance plaza were added in 2001 as a renovational plan.