Bronx Park North, WPA StoneworkA peaceful nook constructed by the WPA in Bronx Park, facing Bronx Boulevard between 225th and 226th Streets.
“Until 1937, the north portion of Bronx Park was owned by the NY Botanical Garden and the NY Zoological Society and had no public facilities such as paths, lighting, playgrounds, or athletic fields. As part of the Bronx River Parkway extension project, the Parks Department gained jurisdiction and, with Works Progress Administration labor, began to convert the entire area into a park. This was one big New Deal project with many parts, including:
- Reiss Field on the east side (1939);
- Waring Playground on the east side (1939);
- Rosewood Playground on the east side (1940);
- 227th Street Playground on the east side (1941);
- French Charley’s Playground on the west side (1941)
- Allerton Ballfields on the west side (1941)
The rest of this land would be turned by the WPA labor force into a proper park with landscaping, asphalt paths, lighting, benches, drinking fountains, drainage, comfort stations, and entry points (including two footbridges over the railroad tracks) in a project that started in July 1940 and was completed in June 1941…” (http://kermitproject.org)
A Department of Parks press release from June 22, 1941 described completed WPA work in the park more specifically:
“These include construction of sections of the future path system, two softball diamonds, two comfort stations and two marginal playgrounds… Each playground covers about a quarter of an acre, is paved with a smooth bituminous asphalt surface and is enclosed by an eight-foot chain link fence. The equipment includes play apparatus such as slides, swings, see-saws, a sand pit and a shower basin. Benches are provided for adults in charge of the children. Drinking fountain and flagpole are standard features… Drainage has been provided where necessary and a number of drinking fountains have been placed at convenient points on the newly constructed path system.” (http://kermitproject.org)
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on May 3, 2015.
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