The Ivy Hill Park has 18 acres and was purchased by the Essex County Parks Commission in 1927 from the City of Newark. The impetus for park construction was recreation needs in Maplewood, South Orange, and Irvington as well as the needs of Newark.
Like nearly every other Essex county park constructed since the 1890s, Ivy Hill Park was designed by the Olmsted Brothers firm.
Ivy Hill is a small, neighborhood, urban park that is in great demand because of its proximity to neighborhood high rise apartments, Seton Hall University, and private housing units. Located on Mt. Vernon Place, on the Newark/South Orange border, and adjacent to Seton Hall, this 18.96-acre park is another Olmsted Brothers design.
In 1927 land was secured from the City of Newark for the purpose of meeting the recreational needs of the rapidly growing sections of Maplewood, Newark, South Orange, and Irvington. The original tract of land measured 18.86 acres, which was added to slightly until the final acreage of 18.96 was achieved in 1938. Those first 11 years of Ivy Hill Park saw gradual development and improvements by the Works Progress Administration.
Under the terms of a 1986 agreement with Seton Hall University, the County has a 25-year, no-cost lease for one acre of University property that has 6 tennis courts. This land is contiguous with the park and brings the total number of courts in the park to 10. In exchange, the County rehabilitated the tennis courts and allows Seton Hall University use of the park's facilities. Other improvements included redesign of the field area for football, soccer, baseball, and softball, and improvements to the existing basketball court and playground, along with general site work.