The "Vest Pocket Park" campaign was begun in the 1960s to transform small vacant lots in densely populated neighborhoods into much-needed parkland. Although some Vest Pocket Parks contain playgrounds, many, like this one, are simply sitting areas or small gardens, often managed in partnership with the community.
This "71st Street Plot" was acquired by the city through condemnation on March 28, 1969. In 1981 the property was transferred to the Parks Department, which developed a sitting area and maintains the site in cooperation with Community Board 7. In 2000 the park received a renovation and its current moniker, which is simply 71 in Latin.