MacNeil Park Playground
Located in College Point, this green space on the East River is built on the grounds of an old mansion. It was originally known as Chisolm Park:
“In 1930 the City of New York acquired the mansion and its grounds for a public park. The Parks Department improved the property with a new playground, football field, roller skating rink, baseball diamond, and picnic grounds. Popular with picnickers, the waterfront property was known alternatively as Chisholm Park (a variant spelling of the Chisolm family’s name) and College Point Shore Front Park. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia made the Chisolm mansion his summer City Hall in 1937, conducting his municipal business in July and August on the shores of the East River. The old mansion was razed between 1939 and 1941, and a flagpole marks the site.” (NYC Parks)
The Department of Parks announced the opening of the playground mentioned on February 28, 1935 noted that the new playground was “completely equipped with gymnastic and play apparatus.”
Although these sources do not explicitly mention New Deal involvement, 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. Federal funding for laborers, materials, architects, landscapers and engineers employed on Parks projects is acknowledged in about 350 press releases from 1934 to 1943. As this playground was finished in February 1935, several months after the CWA had ended and shortly before the WPA began, it was most likely constructed with support from another New Deal agency like the Public Works Admistration (PWA) or the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC).
NYC Parks - MacNeil Park
Department of Parks, Press Release, February 28, 1935.
New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on September 12, 2016.
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