"Model Playground" Dedication Ceremony with Mayor LaGuardia, 1934"Neighbors peer from windows and a large crowd gathers in front of Gertrude B. Kelly Playground."
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 these additional playground areas are being supplied thru Work Relief funds.” Given the timing, this most likely referred to CWA involvement as researcher Frank da Cruz explains here.
Originally called only “Model Playground,” it was eventually named for Dr. Gertrude Kelly, a female Irish immigrant to America, who became a surgeon, feminist, anarchist and champion of human rights.
Department of Parks, press release, July 27, 1934 https://irish-us.org/ History of Recreation in Parks, www.nycgovparks.org
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on August 11, 2016.
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