Chelsea Park is a park in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, which dates back to 1910. The park has sports fields, basketball and handball courts, a playground for children, and a sitting area. The surface is mostly tarmac or artificial turf, with holes for the plane trees and some plots with annual flower plantings. There is a statue of a World War I soldier, the “Doughboy Statue,” erected in 1921. The process of approval, financing, and clearing of the assets occupying the site has been prolonged. The Park has since been upgraded several times by the Works Progress Administration and the Parks and Recreation Department of New York City.
Chelsea Park is located between Ninth and Tenth Avenues, and between West 27th and West 28th Streets in Manhattan. The park covers almost four acres (1.6 ha). The park is surrounded by active playgrounds, with gates at various points. The soccer pitch is surrounded by taller fences, while the rest of the park is surrounded by shorter fences.
The area between West 26th and West 28th Streets and 9th and 10th Avenues is a superblock of two normal blocks. West 27th Drive is a service-only driveway, with the park occupying most of the block north of the driveway. To the south, along 26th Street, there are three 12-to 14-story brick towers run by the New York City Housing Authority in the southern part of the superblock, as well as the public school and the Hudson Guild Settlement House. The Morgan General Mail Facility annex is located directly to the north of the park. The Holy Apostles’ Church, built-in 1848, is located on the east side of 9th Ave.
Chelsea Park has space for both passive and active recreation. It’s one of the busier parks in the neighborhood. It includes baseball diamonds, basketball courts and six handball courts. The artificial turf sports field covers about one-third of the area. The P.O. David Willis Basketball Court is named after the New York City Police Department officer David Willis (1964–1995), who used to patrol the park. There are public washrooms on West 27th Street and 9th Avenue, open all year round. The park includes the District Health Center, a low-rise red brick building in the eastern part of the park.
The park is one of nine New York City parks with monuments to the local heroes of the First World War (1914–18). The Chelsea Park Memorial, also known as the Doughboy Statue, is a 14-foot (4.3 m) tall granite stele with a plinth supporting the bronze statue of an American soldier. (‘Doughboy’ is a slang term for an infantryman widely used in World War I.) The plinth bears the inscription: ‘To the Soldiers and Sailors of Chelsea World War 1914–1918.’ The monument is surrounded by cobblestone. It stands in front of the recently-built Health Center.