Bailey Playground Basketball Court
The New York Times reported in 1941 that WPA labor was to develop a playground at Bailey Avenue and West 234th Street in the Bronx. Bailey Playground now resides on that site:
“WPA crews are busy on twelve other parks and playground projects in other
parts of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx … A plot originally
acquired for school purposes in 1929 will become the site of a playground at
Bailey Avenue and West 234th Street, the Bronx. A large wading pool is
included in the plans.”
In August 1943, at the end of the New Deal, the Parks Department announced the opening of this playground, explaining that 90% of the work had been done by the WPA, but that it had been completed by private contract. The playground was described as containing new trees; a wading pool; a comfort station; slides, seesaws, a sandpit and swings; three handball courts; three bocci courts; and a softball diamond.
The playground at this site is still in use. However, the New York City Parks Department website states that the land for Bailey Playground was acquired in 1950 in conjunction with the development of the Major Deegan Expressway. Further research is needed to resolve the history of this site.
"Central Park Area to Be Improved For Benefit of Harlem Residents"; The New York Times, Sept. 22, 1941 NYC Parks - Bailey Playground Department of Parks, Press Release, August 18, 1943 New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43
Project originally submitted by Evan Kalish on April 15, 2014.
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