Barefoot Shakespeare Company calls Summit Rock in Central Park home. From our first show until now, every piece has been brought to life in this space. Summit Rock, is located on the west side of New York’s Central Park on land that was original inhabited by the Munsee Lenape Tribe.
During the first half of the 19th century, Summit Rock was home to Seneca Village, a community of predominantly African-Americans, many of whom owned property. The village existed between 1825 and 1857. In 1855, there were approximately 225 residents, over 50 homes, three churches, and a school. For African-American property owners, Seneca Village provided residential stability and an investment in the future. Another incentive to owning property at the time was that it gave African-Americans the right to vote.
When the City decided to build Central Park, it used eminent domain to acquire the land. Residents were compensated for their property and had to leave by 1857. After they dispersed, all traces of the settlement were lost to history.
Read more about Seneca Village form the Central Park Conservancy.
(c) Central Park Conservancy