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  • Dyker Beach Park - Brooklyn NY
    Dyker Beach Park, located just south of the Dyker Beach Golf Course and north of the Belt Parkway was assembled in eight stages between 1895 and 1934. In 1942, the WPA and the Department of Parks completed extensive work on the park, much of which is still visible today. A press release announcing the completion of a field house and playground described the finished and ongoing work: "The field house, a one story brick structure, approximately 44' x 100' is located at the east end of the athletic field in a paved plaza designed as a focal point for the park...
  • East Newark Playground (former) - Newark NJ
    The federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed East Newark's first playground. The 50'-by-100' facility opened July 13, 1936. Located on Searing Avenue between Passaic and Grant Avenues, the playground is no longer extant.
  • Elijah Perry Park - Camden NJ
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) constructed Elijah Perry Park (then called "South Camden Park") in Camden, New Jersey. Among the amenities were a "spacious bath house ... swimming pool, 200 feet by 78 feet; wading pool amid a playground for children; tennis court." Camden's Evening Reporter described the facilities in June 1936: The bath house is constructed of concrete block and stone. Its exterior is of salmon-tinted California stucco with white granite trim. Locker rooms on the main floor are equipped with 1,600 clothing baskets of wire, each with a numbered brass tag. As many as 2,400 persons can use the...
  • Enderis Playing Field - Milwaukee WI
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) built park facilities at the Enderis Playing Field in Milwaukee. One among many parks built and improved by the WPA in Milwaukee, the Enderis Playing field is still in use today. The land, which the city purchased in 1931, was initially part of the Gale Crest Park subdivision, a sparsely populated area annexed by the city of Milwaukee in 1927. The park is named after Dorothy Enderis, who led the Recreation Division of the Milwaukee Public Schools. Together with Gilbert Clegg, she devised the 1937 Milwaukee park improvements plan. The list of projects to be completed...
  • Evergreen Park - Ridgewood NY
    Today's NYC Parks website explains: "The City of New York acquired the property for this park in January 1941. At that time, the park was divided by 60th Street, which cut through the property. The City then assigned Evergreen Park to the Board of Education and Parks in the spring of 1942. In order to expand the parkland and unify the two sections, the City closed 60th Street and gave the area to Parks. Part of the park is jointly operated with the adjacent P.S. 68. The playground opened officially on January 11, 1943." A 1943 press release announcing the park's...
  • Father Tom Joyce Sports Complex - Brooklyn NY
    The New York Times reported in late 1941 that WPA laborers had begun construction of a new playground at 3rd Ave. and 64th St. in Brooklyn, NY. The 1.25-acre plot was to contain several recreational facilities.
  • First Park Playground - New York NY
    First Park playground, named for its location at the intersection of East First St. and First Ave. opened in 1935. The New York City Parks Department calls the park a "typical product of the W.P.A. (Works Progress Administration) initiative to create recreational areas in the City." This was just one of hundreds of playgrounds built by the New Deal in New York City. Based on press releases in the New York City Parks Department archives, researcher Frank da Cruz explains here that almost all New York City Parks Department projects were constructed with New Deal funds and/or labor.  Federal funding for...
  • Fort Greble Recreation Center - Washington DC
    In 1942, the Washington Post reported seven acres allocated by the Federal Works Agency (FWA) for a playfield at Fort Greble, at the intersection of Chesapeake St. and Shepherd St (which no longer goes through).  This is the present site of Fort Greble Recreation Center (also called the Spray Park) and the Leckie Elementary School.  It still features a baseball field and basketball courts, which probably trace their origins to the New Deal work in the 1940s.
  • Fort Greene Park - Brooklyn NY
    This large, lush Brooklyn park dates back 150 years. NYC Parks explains that "Another series of renovations made in the 1930s further enhanced the classical design of the park. Parks architect Gilmore D. Clarke regraded the grounds, added new trees and shrubs, replaced the winding paths with more formal walks, remodeled the playgrounds, and created new spaces for athletic activities." These and other activities were announced in several Department of Parks press releases at the time. In May 1936, a new playground was opened in the northwest corner of the park. In October of the same year, the children's garden in...
  • Fort Stevens Recreation Center Improvements - Washington DC
    In 1942, the Washington Post reported the approval of $11,200 in funding for the Federal Works Agency (FWA) to build or make improvements to the former Stevens Playground, now Fort Stevens Recreation Center.  The work may have included tennis courts and play fields, but it has not been confirmed that the work was completed or which part of the present facility is New Deal, if any. Note that this is a few blocks north of the other Fort Stevens New Deal work site.
  • Francis Lewis Park - Flushing NY
    Francis Lewis Park sits at the base of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge in Queens. The park was named after an American "merchant, patriot, and signer of the Declaration of Independence"(nycgovparks). Researcher Frank Da Cruz has compiled evidence of the WPA's key role in developing this park: Like Ferry Point park, Francis Lewis Park was part of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge construction project, 1937-41. A New York Parks City Department press release on April 25, 1940, confirms that it was built by the WPA: The Department of Parks announces that exercises in connection with the dedication of Francis Lewis Park, Third Avenue and 147...
  • Francis Recreation Center (former) Improvements - Washington DC
    In 1942, the Washington Post reported the allocation of $32,650 to the Federal Works Agency (FWA) for new construction and improvements to the Francis Recreation Center, located at 25th and H streets NW.   The Francis Recreation Center appears to have been wiped out by the construction of I-66 after World War II.
  • Frank D. O’Connor Playground - Queens NY
    Today's NYC Parks website explains that the "history of the playground begins in 1935, when the Board of Transportation permitted the Department of Parks to use two parcels on the east and west sides of 78th Street for recreational purposes. The property was developed by the Works Progress Administration in 1937 as a neighborhood playground and sitting park." In fact, work on the park started a bit earlier than that. A Department of Parks press release from December 30, 1936 announced the opening in this park of a "new playground is equipped with swings, jungle gyms, sand tables, play houses...
  • Fred Samuel Playground - New York NY
    The Department of Parks announced the opening of what is now the Fred Samuel Playground on March 31, 1939. The press release explained: "The area located on the west side of Lenox Avenue between 139 and 140 Streets is adjacent to Public School 139, Manhattan and was the first parcel of ground purchased jointly by the Park Department and the Board of Education and developed in collaboration to the advantage of both departments. Besides being completely equipped with play apparatus the area also provides facilities for handball, basketball, paddle tennis, roller skating hockey and ice skating in the winter when subfreezing...
  • Frederick B. Judge Playground - South Ozone Park NY
    NYC Parks describes the origins of this playground: "South Ozone Park grew into a bustling community, and the neighborhood’s many residents needed recreation space. Parks acquired the playground land in a purchase from William Zagarino in 1936, and soon after developed the area into a play space." Indeed, on April 3, 1937, the Department of Parks announced the completion of this new playground: "It has been equipped with swings, see-saws, slides, sand tables, play-houses and a wading pool for small children. Handball, shuffleboard and table tennis courts, a large play area with a soft ball diamond and an oval roller skating...
  • Frederick Johnson Park - New York NY
    The Department of Parks announced the opening of what is now the Frederick Johnson Park on March 31, 1939. The press release explained: "The 150 Street and Seventh Avenue area obtained by the Department of Parks from the Board of Transportation for an indefinite period has been developed to include 8 tennis courts, 9 handball courts, a volley ball court as well as a sitting area for mothers and guardians of small children. The sitting area is surrounded by continuous rows of benches under shade trees with two separate sand pits for youngsters to play in. This area is adjacent to...
  • Freebody Park Improvements - Newport RI
    In Newport, Rhode Island "the WPA built sidewalks and most of the stone walls, grandstands, concession buildings and other facilities in Newport’s public parks. Vernon Park, Freebody Park and Cardines Field are the most visible examples." At Freebody Park, the extent of WPA work is unclear as the astounding stone perimeter wall bears a 1932 date stamp, which pre-dates the New Deal.
  • Fulton Park Playground - Brooklyn NY
    In 1940 the Department of Parks announced the opening of a new playground was opened in what is today Fulton Park, located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The playground was "designed by the Park Department and built and landscaped by the Work Projects Administration," and describes the playground as follows: "This small children's playground consists of kindergarten swings, see-saws, slides, a sand pit and a free play space with a shower basin and has been surfaced with bituminous material to provide for all year round usage. The entire area is landscaped with shade trees and concrete benches have been provided." Fulton...
  • Galapo Playground - Brooklyn NY
    The Department of Parks acquired this land, later named the Galapo Playground, in 1940 and announced the completion of a playground on the site in July 1941: "New concrete walks have been centered in the 24' sidewalk area along Avenue "V" and Bedford Avenue with a row of pin oaks on each side in panels of concrete blocks. Continuous sections of benches have been placed against the Avenue "V" property line fence adjacent to the entrances. A concrete walk extends along East 24 Street and Gravesend Neck Road with a single row of trees spaced in a concrete block strip adjacent...
  • Gallinger Playground Improvements - Washington DC
    The Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Civil Works Administration completed improvements at the Gallinger Playground in Washington DC, between 1933 and 1934. The work consisted of the following improvements: “New shelter(s) built."
  • Garden State Chancellor Park Reconstruction - Irvington NJ
    The Works Progress Administration (WPA) undertook several improvements at what was then known as Chancellor Playground (and today known as Garden State Chancellor Park) beginning in 1936. The large-scale project involved "replacing two bridges washed away by storms, building new bleachers, regrading diamond, etc. Cost of this work is figured as $25,693.90, WPA supplying $22,391.50." (Herald)
  • Garfield Playground - Washington DC
    The Federal Emergency Relief Administration and the Civil Works Administration funded and constructed improvements at the Garfield Playground in Washington DC, between, 1933-1934. “Playing area increased by relocation of hedges, graded, relocation of equipment.”
  • Garfield Playground Improvements - Seattle WA
    The Garfield Playground was one of a limited number of Seattle park facilities to receive upgrades through the New Deal's Civil Works Administration (CWA) program. The main CWA project at the playground involved the construction of a retaining wall along the western edge of the property. CWA laborers began work on the $12,000 project in 1933 and completed it the following year. Several years later, funding from the Works Project Administration (WPA) allowed the Park Department to proceed with additional improvements to the playground. In 1938, WPA workers painted the baseball field's backstop and bleachers. One year later, they built three...
  • Garibaldi Playground - Brooklyn NY
    This property in the Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn, just next to Milestone Park, was acquired by Parks in 1937. In March, 1939, Parks announced the completion of a new playground on the site "equipped with swings, see-saws, jungle gym, slides and a shower basin which can also be used as a roller skating rink." The new playground also contained a "brick comfort station" and "concrete benches and shade trees." The work "was performed by the Works Progress Administration but planned and inspected by the Department of Parks." The site remains a functioning playground today.
  • Garrison Playground (demolished) - Bronx NY
    Researcher Frank da Cruz makes a convincing argument that this former playground was built with New Deal funds: "According to a present-day NYC Parks Department web page, 'This property, bounded by East 146th Street, Walton Avenue, and the Grand Concourse, was acquired by the city in 1913 and assigned to Parks in 1934. Garrison Playground opened in 1936, and reopened in 1940 after the widening of the Grand Concourse' (which was a WPA project). The playground was open as recently as June 2014 (next image) but in June 2015 when I took these photos the entire block was being demolished,...
  • Georgetown Playground Improvements - Seattle WA
    With the help of Works Progress Administration (WPA) labor, the Seattle Park Department made improvements to the Georgetown Playground at South Homer Street and Corson Avenue. In 1936, WPA workers built a reinforced concrete wading pool along the eastern edge of the playground. According to Park Department records, “This pool was made so that the water can be maintained at two different depths; one at 18 inches for wading and the other at 30 inches so the children can learn to swim.” The Park Department provided $1,384 worth of materials for the pool and the WPA provided the paid labor....
  • Gertrude B. Kelly Playground - New York NY
    Gertrude B. Kelly Playground was one of five model playgrounds designed after Robert Moses assumed control of the New York City Parks Department in 1934. These playgrounds were "meant to serve as templates for further playground designs and included standard features such as a play house, flagpole, chlorinated footbath, wading pool, handball and basketball courts, play equipment, drinking fountains, shade trees, and shrubs." (nycgovparks) Mayor LaGuardia presided over the dedication ceremony for this playground in August, 1934. A Parks Department press release announcing the opening of this and several other playgrounds explained that "The labor and materials for the construction of...
  • Gilbert Ramírez Park - Brooklyn NY
    A March 27, 1936 Department of Parks press release announced the opening of this new WPA playground: "The Department of Parks will open ten new playgrounds Saturday, March 28, making a total of 125 added to the recreational system in two years. …at White, McKibben and Bogart Streets there will be three hand-ball courts, three shuffle-board courts, three horseshoe pitching courts, three basketball courts and swings… All of these playgrounds were constructed as Works Progress Administration projects." In July of the same year, Parks announced the further completion of "a large game area, a wading pool and complete apparatus for children" and benches "placed...
  • Girard Park - Shenandoah PA
    Construction of Shenandoah PA’s Girard Park began in September of 1936 with the support of funds from the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA allocated $93,000 for the development of the sixteen-acre park, with the rest of the cost to be shared with the city of Shenandoah. According to a contemporary report in Parks & Recreation magazine, Girard Park “was first designed for a bandstand but the newest plans call for children’s playground equipment, which will probably place the park cost at more than the anticipated $134,000.” The public park has played a central role in the community life of Shenandoah since...
  • Glendale Playground - Glendale NY
    In Sept. 1941 the New York Times described a playground being constructed by the WPA in Queens at "Central Avenue and Seventieth Street." This site, Glendale Playground, is still in use today. The site is also known as the "Uncle" Vito E. Maranzano Glendale Playground. New York City's Parks Department writes: "In 1940-41 Parks acquired the school property and an adjacent parcel for a new playground, which opened in 1942. On the cleared site, laborers from the Federal Works Projects Administration built handball and basketball courts, a softball diamond, swings, slides, seesaws, a jungle gym, a comfort station, and a free play...
  • Gordon Park Improvements - Milwaukee WI
    "Repairing and painting of buildings, including band shells, bathhouses, pavilions, bridges, residences, service buildings and playground buildings in the following parks...Gordon Park."
  • Gorman Playground - East Elmhurst NY
    Gorman playground at 84th St. and 25th Ave. in the East Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens was one of five “model playgrounds” designed as templates for further playground development by Robert Moses and his team after Moses assumed control of the New York City Parks Department in 1934. According to a Department press release announcing the opening, when Gorman Playground, then named "Jackson Heights Model Playground," opened in 1934 it contained a: "Recreation building containing a large play room, lavatories, mothers room, directors' room and storage space. The rear wall of the recreation building will be used for 4 handball courts. The...
  • Grace Playground - Brooklyn NY
    On July 28, 1937, the Department of Parks announced the opening of "five playgrounds, constructed by the Department of Parks with relief labor and funds," noting that "These playgrounds are five of the twenty-four sites in neglected areas selected by the Commissioner of Parks and acquired by condemnation after authorization by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment on July 15, 1936." One of these five playgrounds was Grace Playground. The playground has since been expanded, most recently in 1994. Although the 1937 press release does not mention which New Deal agencies were involved, researcher Frank da Cruz explains here that almost all...
  • Gravesend Park Playground - Brooklyn NY
    On May 25, 1942 the Parks Department announced the completion of a major reconstruction of the Gravesend Park Playground in Brooklyn. After removing much outdated equipment, the WPA constructed significant new facilities: "The new development permits greater utilization of space by segregation of smaller compact use areas equipped with increased facilities. A central tree shaded bench lined mall extends from the main park gate to the existing comfort station which has been given a new setting of block paving, trees and a flagpole. On both sides of the mall two main fence enclosed sections, approximately 1 acre each, are subdivided into various...
  • Grover Cleveland Park - Ridgewood NY
    The land for Grover Cleveland Park was first established in the 1920s. It acquired its present name in 1939. In June 1940, the Department of Parks announced the completion of the WPA's reconstruction of the park: "This five-acre park has been redesigned and reconstructed to provide a wider all year round usage. Approximately three-quarters of the area is set aside for active recreation. There is now a completely equipped separate small pre-school children's playground, a wading pool which can be used for basketball, and three paddle tennis courts, a volleyball court, and three shuffleboard courts for older children. For adults, there is...
  • Hamilton Metz Field - Brooklyn NY
    In April 1942, the WPA and the Department of Parks completed the reconstruction of Hamilton Metz Field in Brooklyn. After removing an existing football field and other facilities, the WPA constructed extensive new facilities: "The area has been completely enclosed by chain link fence, a portion of which, along the north and south property lines, is set on new concrete retaining walls. These structures have permitted the grading and paving of level play surfaces. Two gate controlled entrance stairways from Lefferts Avenue will provide access to the one and one quarter acre grass surfaced athletic field, at the west end of...
  • Hamilton Playground Improvements - Washington DC
    In 1936, the Washington Post reported improvement work at several city playgrounds, the Hamilton Playground among them.  This would have been part of a major New Deal park renovation effort across the district.  The work was likely done by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which had undertaken a nearly $1 million program of park and playground improvements in 1935-36.
  • Hamline Park Playground Building - St. Paul MN
    Designed by African-American architect Clarence "Cal" Wigington, the Hamline Park Playground building was completed in 1938. The building now houses an art shop and studio.
  • Happy Hollow Playground - Washington DC
    The Civil Works Administration and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration (FERA) funded improvements at the Happy Hollow Playground in Washington DC. A wading pool was installed. In 1934-1935, FERA, “esurfaced one tennis court; painted house.”
  • Harmon Park - Stamford TX
    The National Youth Administration completed improvements in Harmon Park in Stamford TX. While the Park itself still exists, the only item that I identified as possibly being the work of the NYA is the rock pillar at the park entrance. It is possible that they planted the trees, or even dug the small duck pond. "HARMON PARK - Harmon park, improved during the winter and spring through A NYA project directed by Bernard Buie, is a popular picnic and outing site favored by school and church groups. It is a customary meal site for visitors to Stamford's annual Texas Cowboy Reunion and...
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