The gate is a memorial to Irving Levy (1892–1955) and was a gift of the Irving and Estelle Levy Foundation. It was designed by A. Walter Beretta, the head of the Parks Department Monuments office for more than 30 years. Beretta also created the sundial in the Park’s Shakespeare Garden.
Originally the gate marked the entrance to the Levy Playground, which was dedicated in 1958, also a gift of the Levy Fountain. The gate was moved to its present location when the original playground was relocated in 1989.
There are three other ornamental gates in Central Park, two by the American artist Paul Manship: the Osborn Gates at the entrance to Ancient Playground at East 85th Street and the Lehman Gates outside of the Children’s Zoo. The Vanderbilt Gate is located at the entrance of the Conservatory Garden.