The Jerome Park Reservoir was originally the Jerome Park Racetrack, built by Leonard W. Jerome, a successful stock speculator and an avid sports man, alongside his brothers and financier August Belmont.
The Jerome Park Racetrack opened on September 25, 1866 and in 1867 it held the Belmont Stakes, one of the three major horse races that constitute the Triple Crown, and it remained there until 1890 when the city condemned the property to build the Jerome Park Reservoir. In 1906 the Jerome Park Reservoir was completed; it was built to hold water conducted to the city by the New Croton Aqueduct.
The reservoir held 773 million gallons of water when it was filled in 1905. It covers 94 acres and has a circumference of two miles, bordered by a series of elegantly crafted stone walls. The City of New York acquired Jerome Park, which surrounds the reservoir, on June 3, 1895 and officially opened it as a park on April 4, 1940.
Today the Reservoir distributes 10 to 30 percent of the City's water and it has become the center of further community concern over talks to build a water filtration plant. The area that stretches from Reservoir Avenue along Goulden Avenue to Mosholu Parkway South is known as "Education Mile" consisting of the Walton Campus, Lehman College, Bronx High School of Science, High School for American Studies, and DeWitt Clinton High School.