Samuel Marx Triangle

Located at the intersection of St. Nicholas Avenue, West 115th Street, and Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, this triangle is named to honor Manhattan politician and community leader, Samuel Marx (1867-1922).

Marx was born in Manhattan and educated in New York City public schools. In his twenties, Marx became an auctioneer and appraiser. He soon became one of the most highly recognized auctioneers in the city, co-founding the Association of Auctioneers of Greater New York. Beginning in 1898, Marx served two terms as a member of the Board of Aldermen, and was appointed Internal Revenue Collector for the Third New York District in 1919. Three years later, he was elected to Congress, but died of heart disease before the start of his term.

Samuel Marx was respected and loved by many. In 1923, the Board of Aldermen named the triangle after him, shortly after his death, noting that “in his loss the city of his birth and pride is poorer by one outstanding member.” Samuel Marx Triangle is located just three blocks away from Marx’s former residence at 1845 Seventh Avenue. Admiration for Marx was evident at his funeral, where 1600 mourners filled a synagogue’s auditorium to capacity while thousands congregated outside.

Samuel Marx Triangle provides a tranquil place for members of the community to rest their feet while city traffic flies by on some of its busiest thoroughfares. This parkland is composed of four benches surrounding a lush Littleleaf linden tree (Tilia cordata). A cool-climate staple from New Hampshire to the Midwest and just south of the Mason-Dixon line, the tree is recognizable by its heart shaped and serrated leaves. Pyramidal in shape, its dense branches and foliage make this tree an ideal landscaping and shade tree. The tree blooms yellow, deeply perfumed flowers in the spring. The Littleleaf linden is a popular street and city tree due to its legendary tolerance of harsh soil conditions. The tree has the ability to grow up to 70 feet high and 45 feet wide, providing shade and majestic beauty to its surroundings.

Its admirers and patrons dub Samuel Marx Triangle “One Tree Park.” Also notable is that the sole tree of the triangle is the first on the block to come to life with foliage in the springtime, bringing vitality to the surrounding area.

This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park. (From NYC Parks website)