Ralph Bunche Park



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Ralph Bunche Park is a small municipal public park in the Turtle Bay neighborhood of New York City, at the northwest corner of First Avenue and 42nd Street. It was named in 1979 for the late Ralph Bunche.

Ralph Bunche Park is across First Avenue from the United Nations headquarters. (This stretch of First Avenue is also known as "United Nations Plaza".) A granite staircase in Ralph Bunche Park's northwest corner leads to the Tudor City apartments. In 1981 the staircase was named the Scharansky Steps in honor of Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky. In 1975 the northern wall was inscribed with the famous quotation from Isaiah 2:4: "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." It is now known as the Isaiah Wall.
In the plaza in front of the Isaiah Wall is Peace Form One, a stainless-steel obelisk 50 feet (15 m) high, erected in 1980. The sculptor, Daniel Larue Johnson, was a personal friend of Bunche, and dedicated the sculpture to Bunche, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950.
Near the southern end of Ralph Bunche Park is a plaque, dedicated in 1990, which commemorates civil rights leader Bayard Rustin.
Because of its proximity to the United Nations, the peace theme of the Isaiah Wall and Peace Form One, and Bunche's career as a peacemaker, Ralph Bunche Park is a popular site for demonstrations and rallies concerning peace and other international issues. Ralph Bunche Park covers less than a quarter of an acre (1,000 m²), however, so it cannot accommodate major gatherings.