Part of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, it was constructed to revitalize Lower Manhattan after the attacks of 9/11. Drumgoole Plaza, the first of the thirteen public open spaces that were renovated or newly created with funds granted by Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to develop green spaces, was officially opened on November 5, 2003.
The Department of Parks & Recreation and Pace University reconstructed Drumgoole Plaza, transforming this empty lot into a new sitting area complete with the 1964 New York World's Fair benches, colorful decorative paving, architectural lighting, and lush landscaping with horticultural elements such as flowering trees and ornamental shrubs. The park’s fall hues are Pace colors – blue flowers and gold-edged leaves; over 20 new trees including Goldenrains, Honey Locusts and Hollies along with 1100 shrubs, perennials and ornamental grasses such as winter hazel, hydrangea, blue star, and striped ribbon grass surround the colorful new park and pathway that connect Frankfort and Rose Streets. The area has been completely re-paved and new granite and concrete curbs have been constructed. A comprehensive bird netting system has been installed to improve the public's enjoyment of the area.
Pace University provided new spotlights along the property to preserve public safety in the evening. They also provided electrical connections for the decorative lights that illuminate the bridge structure. Pace maintains Drumgoole Plaza park under the management of the Department of Parks & Recreation.
The park is named Drumgoole, for John Christopher Drumgoole (1816-1888), a hero of the newsboys who thronged the area when Park Row was the headquarters of New York City’s major newspapers (including The New York Times, in the building Pace now occupies at 41 Park Row). Drumgoole joined the priesthood in midlife and worked tirelessly to help homeless youth.