Gramercy Park, rich with its history of limited keys to the city's only private park, is an extremely small neighborhood. With the park as the center of this neighborhood, it is generally considered much like the village, but with closer proximity to the office buildings in Midtown. With all of the amenities of Union Square, Irving Place, Third Avenue, Park Avenue South, and Fifth Avenue just a couple of blocks in any direction, this area of New York City is quiet, yet as close as you can get to Midtown while still being downtown.
Gramercy Park (sometimes misspelled as Grammercy), it is the oldest private park in the United States, is a small, fenced-in private park in the Gramercy neighborhood of the New York City borough of Manhattan. Only residents of certain townhouses in the area receive keys to the park. It is the only remaining private park in Manhattan. Gramercy Park is located between East 20th Street and East 21st Street and between Park Avenue South and Third Avenue (although it does not take up the entire block between these two avenues). Lexington Avenue, a major north-south thoroughfare on the East Side of Manhattan, terminates at the northern end of Gramercy Park. The name "Gramercy" is most likely a corruption of the Dutch word "krom mesje," or "little crooked knife," the name of a small brook that flowed along what is now 21st Street. The area was part of Gramercy Farm until 1831, when its owner, Samuel B. Ruggles, donated the property to the city on condition that no commercial enterprise be permitted on the facing streets or in the park proper. To this day, the park contains no amusements, swing sets, snack shops, or any other intrusions on its rusticity. It is the oldest private park in the United States. The center of the park contains a statue of one of the area's most famous residents: Edwin Booth. Booth was one of the great Shakespearean actors of 19th century America, as well as the brother of John Wilkes Booth, Abraham Lincoln's assassin. His mansion still stands at number 16, which today is the home of The Players, whose members have access to the park. Given the park's private nature, film companies are not supposed to shoot there. However, in the movie Notting Hill, a famous actress is shown starring in a film called Gramercy Park, which was also the name of the production company for Notting Hill.
What's Next? With the sale of Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town to the east of Gramercy Park, the continued growth and popularity of Murray Hill to the north, and the idolization of Union Square to the south, Gramercy Park has nowhere to go but up; up in value, up in popularity, and up in prestige.