Owen F. Dolen, educator, advocate

In 1925, Owen F. Dolen (c.1864-1925) was asked to speak at a ceremony in this park, then known as Westchester Square. The occasion was the unveiling of a new monument to the neighborhood soldiers who died in World War I (1914-1918).  Dolen was a well-respected educator and life-long member of the Bronx Westchester Park community, and had spearheaded the campaign to place the memorial at the square. He gave a rousing twenty-five minute speech, bowed to the crowd, sat down, and died of a heart attack just minutes later. On April 30, 1926, the Board of Aldermen (now the City Council) voted to name the park Owen F. Dolen Park in his memory.

The beautiful park is over 2 acres and has expanded since 1926. The building in the park was expanded 1982 to become the Owen Dolen Golden Age Center, and is now the Owen Dolen Recreation Center with a kitchen, computer lab, fitness room, study room, performance space, and billiards and pool tables for use by area residents. The two halves of the park were joined in 1993. A $4.5M remodeling in 2013 included a new stage for outdoor performances (to the left of the buildng) and a pedestrian plaza, seen in front of the building.

Owen F. Dolen Park in The Bronx
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Cherie

NYC tour guide -- licensed and starred with Dept of Commerce

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