Waring Playground, Bronx Park
“Waring Playground in Bronx Park, across Bronx Park East from the block between Waring Avenue and Thwaite Place, June 17, 2015. It opened on September 28, 1939, as part of the larger project of developing the land turned over by the New York Botanical Garden to the Parks Department. Although the Parks Department’s September 27, 1939 press release does not explicitly credit the WPA or any other New Deal agency with building or funding this facility, it states that it “is a unit in a chain of children’s recreation areas already built or now under construction along the easterly boundaries of Bronx Park. Another play area to the south is well advanced and several others further north are planned for the future.” These other Bronx Park play areas (the 227th Street Playground Rosewood Playground, Olinville Playground, French Charley’s Playground, Reiss Field, and the Allerton Ball Fields, not to mention overall development of Bronx Park as a public recreation area, landscaped, with a path network, lights, draining, etc), was one big WPA project with many parts. The “other play area to the south” (opposite Reiss Place) opened on October 31, 1939, was, according to the press release, “designed by the Department of Parks and built for the Park Department by the Work Projects Administration.” Furthermore, from Robert Moses’s letter of June 12, 1937, to Col. Brehon Somervell, WPA Administrator for New York City, we know of Moses’ high regard for a “Mr. Brady, the general superintendent in charge of the Bronx Park relief forces”. Finally, we know that all Parks Department work in the 1930s used relief labor, and that even some Parks departments designers, engineers, and architects were supplied by New Deal agencies.” (http://kermitproject.org)
The 1939 press release describes the new playground as including “a completely equipped children’s playground with a wading pool and a comfort station. In addition to two sand pits for small children, there is a variety of apparatus including kindergarten and playground swings, a jungle gym, slides, horizontal ladder, and parallel bars. Permanent concrete benches and shade trees are provided in ample numbers.”
http://kermitproject.org/bronx/newdeal/waring01.html http://kermitproject.org/bronx/newdeal/pdf/1939.html#1939/09/27 http://www.nycgovparks.org/about/history/historical-signs/listings?id=11676
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on June 21, 2015.
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