Before the park was founded, there was a marshy area in its place that was drained between 1930-1935. The park was opened in may 1939, as the largest park in Bucharest at that time.
In 1951, the park was expanded and aquired its present size of 187 ha.
The Herăstrău Park had many names throughout the 20th century. Originally it was called Parcul Național (National Park), later it received the name Parcul Carol al II-lea and during the communism, the park was called Parcul I.V. Stalin, because of the Stalin statue at its entrace.
In 1936, Dimitrie Gusti founded next to the Herăstrău Lake the Village Museum (Muzeul Satului), which still exists.