Thomas Jefferson ParkPhoto: Joshua Shiffman © All Rights Reserved
The land for Thomas Jefferson Park park was first purchased in 1897, but was greatly expanded in the 1930s under Commissioner Robert Moses. In September 1935, Moses and Mayor LaGuardia oversaw the opening of the north playground, “equipped with a wading pool, two soft ball diamonds, a roller skating track, play houses, seesaws, jungle gyms, etc.” The south portion of the park opened two months later, including at least some of the following: baseball, basketball, bocci, handball or horse shoe courts, and jungle gyms, swings, slides, playhouses, sand tables, see-saws, shuffle board courts, and wading pools. In December 1936, Parks remodeled a play area in the park to provide two baseball diamonds that could also be used “for football, soccer and rugby.”
The playground, “designed principally for adults,” and located at First Avenue and 111th Street in the park, was one of seven Works Progress Administration (WPA) playgrounds opened in New York City on November 22, 1935.
Department of Parks, Press Release, September 20, 1935
Department of Parks, Press Release, November 21, 1935
Department of Parks, Press Release, December 4, 1936
NYC Parks - Thomas Jefferson Park
The New York Times: "7 NEW PLAY AREAS OPENED BY MOSES," November 23, 1935 (pg. 17)
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on September 19, 2016.
Additional contributions by Evan Kalish, Joshua Shiffman.
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