At 930 acres, Eisenhower Park is one of the largest public spaces in the New York metropolitan area – larger, in fact, than Central Park. The park offers a full range of athletic and family activities, including one of the finest swimming facilities in the U.S., a major golf facility, dozens of athletic fields and courts, picnic areas, summertime entertainment, playgrounds, fitness trails and more.
Eisenhower Park consists of the former property owned by the exclusive Salisbury Country Club as well as adjoining properties acquired by the county. Prior to being The Nassau County Park at Salisbury, the golf courses were part of the Salisbury Golf Club, first developed in 1917 by Joseph J. Lannin, owner of the Garden City Hotel, Roosevelt Airfield, and the Boston Red Sox. Lannin died mysteriously in 1928, but his daughter Dorothy’s residence and carriage house (The Lannin House) still stand on Eisenhower Park’s property. Lannin moved the Salisbury Links to this site after his old course was made private. Golf architect Devereux Emmet designed the red course for the new club. Golfer Walter Hagen won the 1926 PGA Championship on it, making the course world famous.
During the Depression, the owners were unable to pay taxes and the property was taken over by the county. Subsequently, the county acquired additional land in the area. In 1944, Nassau County Park at Salisbury was established as part of County. Executive J. Russell Sprague's vision to create a park that "one day will be to Nassau County what Central Park is today to New York City." The park was officially dedicated in October of 1949.
The park was rededicated on October 13, 1969, as the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Park at a ceremony attended by the 34th President's grandson, Dwight D. Eisenhower II, and his wife, Julie Nixon Eisenhower. Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano dedicated a statue of Dwight D. Eisenhower in a ceremony at Eisenhower Park on Sunday, October 13th, 2013.
Here’s a list of some of the things found in the park:
16 lighted tennis courts
Twin Rinks Ice Center consists of two indoor, NHL-sized skating rinks, as well as one outdoor rink.
Athletic fields include 17 baseball fields (14 for softball and three for hardball), four soccer fields and three football fields.
There is one full-court basketball court.
In the summer of 2007, the park introduced a two-mile Fitness Trail that provides a jogging or walking trail and 20 attractive and simple fitness stations that incorporate a variety of exercises. These include stretching, pull-ups, sit-ups and balance walking exercises that increase slightly in difficulty as the trail proceeds.
Eisenhower features three excellent 18-hole golf courses open to the public: the Red, White and Blue courses. The Red course, which hosted the Commerce Bank (PGA) Championship, has been called by Newsday one of the "Top 10" public golf courses on Long Island. In addition, the park has an illuminated driving range.
An 18-hole Miniature Golf Course is a popular attraction for children and families. The course, which has been named "Best of Long Island" by News 12 Long Island, features two 18-hole courses with terraced landscaping that incorporates a waterfall, small ponds, flower beds and a number of challenging holes.
There is a Batting Cage with nine separate batting areas offering varying pitching speeds for baseball or a softball option.
There are three playground areas with a range of activities for children.
Built in 1998 for the Goodwill Games, the Nassau County Aquatic Center at Eisenhower Park is one of the finest swimming facilities in the U.S. It regularly hosts major swimming competitions and is also open to the public. The Center includes a “stretch” 50-meter pool that is 68 meters long, with three movable bulkheads. There is also a 25-meter diving well with competition diving towers, platforms, and springboards. In addition, there is a beautifully renovated fitness center, located above the pool.
The Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre is an outdoor theater that hosts a full schedule of entertainment events during the summer, from concerts to movies.
The large and beautiful Veterans Memorial and Wall of Honor commemorates the contributions of the nation’s veterans in various branches of service.
On September 9, 2007, the County unveiled the 9/11 Memorial honoring the 344 Nassau County residents who lost their lives during the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. The monument, one of the largest completed memorials to the victims of the 9/11 attacks, is located by Eisenhower Park Lake, near Lakeside Theatre. The monument includes two stainless-steel towers set in a fountain as well as two steel girders recovered from the World Trade Center; plaques memorialize the names of County residents who lost their lives.
There are two memorials to Nassau County firefighters who have died in the line of duty, including one dedicated to those county firefighters who lost their lives during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
In the gaming area next to the playground, there is a bocci court and tables with inlaid chess and checker boards.
Eisenhower is home to Carltun on the Park restaurant, a privately run facility operated in a former country club. The Carltun offers a restaurant, bar, banquet facilities and a meeting room.
“Eisenhower Park | Nassau County, NY - Official Website.” Nassau County, Long Island New York, www.nassaucountyny.gov/2797/Eisenhower-Park
“History of Eisenhower Park | Nassau County, NY - Official Website.” Nassau County, Long Island New York, www.nassaucountyny.gov/4246/History-of-Eisenhower-Park