New York City’s legendary big parks get all the attention, but they also get all the crowds. Small parks are less known and sometimes are almost unfilled. One of such tiny parks is located just around the corner from the United Nations on East 47th street , Turtle Bay.
This hidden garden not far from United Nations is named after Katharine Hepburn, the famous American actress, who appeared in such classic films as 'The African Queen,' 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner' and 'On Golden Pond.'
Hepburn hit the silver screen in 1932 and her career lasted for over fifty years . On American Film Institute's list of "Top 100 U.S. Love Stories," compiled in June 2002, Hepburn led all actresses with six of her films on the list. Katharine Hepburn is one of the most famous actresses of the twentieth century. In a career she landed four Oscars – a record even today.
Hepburn lived in a brownstone at 244 East 49th Street at Turtle Bay for some 60 years, from 1931 until the 1990s before she moved to Connecticut. In 1997 Turtle Bay community members dedicated the Katharine Hepburn Garden in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza. Hepburn 's famously quoted saying “To grow a garden is to believe in tomorrow”. Bill Curtis, president of the Turtle Bay Association, said: "She was involved with the Turtle Bay Association right from the beginning, when it was formed in 1957."
There is a wooden bench in the garden, Kate's Bench, an actual wooden bench from Hepburn's Connecticut home, where she is said to have sat and read the New York Times every morning. There is also a black metal deer in the garden, hidden behind the green leaves.
Most people aren't aware there's a small pocket park that runs along wall of the building . You have to open the gate and it's just a walkway through a nice green space.
After the actress death in 2003, the intersection of East 49th Street and Second Avenue New York City was renamed “Katharine Hepburn Place.”