City one step closer to park for Davidson

The city has acquired a playground where a hero New York City firefighter played as a child with the intention of creating a new park named in his honor.

A representative of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) announced the acquisition of the old Phipps Playground on Oct. 3 at the monthly meeting of Community Board 2.

Van Bramer, along with community leaders and friends and colleagues of Lt. Michael Davidson, has vowed to name the park that will be created in his honor.

Davidson, 37, was killed March 23, 2018 when a fire broke out on the set of “Motherless Brooklyn,” a movie being filmed in Harlem. Two other firefighters were seriously hurt. The 15-year FDNY veteran was married and had four children under 8 years old. His brother is a member of the FDNY, and their father served for 26 years, working at Engine Co. 69, the same Harlem firehouse where Davidson was assigned when he was killed.

The property sits in Sunnyside at 39th Street and 50th Avenue, across the street from the Phipps Houses.

“Restoring the former Phipps Playground, where Lt. Davidson played as a boy, and renaming it in his honor will be a fitting tribute to his beloved family and his legacy of bravery,” Van Bramer said in a statement issued by his office.

He said that the city intends to elicit community input on park plans.