On May 4, 1936, the Department of Parks announced the opening of “three new perimeter playgrounds for children of pre-school age” in Central Park. One, at 77th St. and 5th Ave., is now called the James Michael Levin Playground.
Although the 1936 press release does not mention the WPA or other New Deal agencies, the New Deal transformed much of Central Park in the 1930s. Furthermore, researcher Frank da Cruz explains here that almost all New York City Parks Department projects between 1934 and 1943 were accomplished with New Deal funds and/or labor, and that after April 1935, the WPA quickly became the main source of this support.
A WPA Alice-in-Wonderland sculpture, originally located in Heckscher Playground, has since been moved to this playground as well.
The playground recently underwent a major renovation.
Department of Parks, Press Release, May 4, 1936 New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43 https://www.centralpark.com
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on October 3, 2016.
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