John Vanderbilt first purchased Westerleigh Park, and the neighborhood of Westerleigh, in 1848. In 1887, Vanderbilt sold the 25-acres of Westerleigh to Christopher S. Williams and William H. Boole; Williams and Boole bought the property in hopes of a summer retreat courtesy of National Prohibition Campground. Originally named as the National Prohibition Park, the neighborhood changed their name to correspond with the Westerleigh Collegiate Institute of Staten Island. This was the first institute that provided a kindergarden-college education.
Westerleigh became popular around the time of the temperance movement; which is why the park was an attraction to political lectures, speeches and services. In 1907, the National Prohibition Park Company donated the 15-acre park to the City with an agreement that the Park will be used for public recreational purposes and events; the Staten Island Parks Department built the octagonal bandstand twenty years later. The bandstand is still present today as the attraction to band performances and field-trip plays; there is an annual Patriotic Sunday to honor Flag Day and Independance Day.
The park also has an array of plants and trees, some include: American beech, oaks, red maples, and dogwoods.
Mayor Giuliani funded over $200,000 for park improvements in 1999; these improvements included sidwalks, pavement, lawn and irrigation. The group Friends of Westerleigh Park help to maintain and sponsor the park's events and clean-up.
Did you know that numerous streets located around the park are named after candidates during the Prohibition Period and states that supported the temperance movement? College Avenue also took their name from the Westerleigh Collegiate Institute.
You can check out real estate properties and statistics near Westerleigh Park by clicking here.