J. Hood Wright Park is named for the former owner of the site. Wright (1836-1894), a wealthy banker and financier from Philadelphia, lived in a mansion at 175th Street and Haven Avenue. He made large anonymous contributions to what is now the Washington Heights Branch of the New York Public Library. A plaque at the branch entrance honors Wright for his role in changing the status of the library from a subscription library to a free library in 1883. He also was instrumental in the founding of a hospital in New York's Manhattanville neighborhood.
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