Minetta Playground – New York NY


The NYC Parks site explains the origins of this playground: “In 1934 Board of Transportation granted the Department of Parks a permit to develop this parcel as a playground which opened the following year.”

The November 1935 press release announcing the playground’s official opening explained that it, and the other six playgrounds opened on the same day (one of which was attended by WPA administrator Harry Hopkins), collectively contained: “2 basketball diamonds, 1 basketball court, 4 bocci courts, 4 handball courts, 2 horizontal bars, 2 horizontal ladders and 3 horse shoe pitching courts for adults; for the youngsters, 6 jungle gyms, 96 kindergarten swings, 9 large slides, 72 large swings, 1 paddle tennis court, 4 parallel bars, 14 playhouses, 6 sand tables, 36 see-saws, 6 shuffle board courts, 4 small slides and 3 wading pools.”

From April 1935 on, the WPA quickly became the main source of relief funds and labor for the NYC Parks Department. In a 1939 study, The Works Progress Administration in New York City (pp. 101-102), future Columbia University professor John Millett describes this deep WPA involvement: “The city Parks Department planned all work-relief activities in city parks and decided what work should be carried out at any one time. All projects and jobs were, of course, approved by the W.P.A., which furnished the labor and much of the supplies for the work.”

Source notes

New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43
Department of Parks, Press Release, November 21, 1935
NYC Parks - Minetta Playground
Millett, John D., The Works Progress Administration in New York City, Public Administration Service, Chicago (1939)
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 21, 2016.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

W 3 St. & Ave Of Americas
New York, NY 10012

Coordinates: 40.730709, -74.001404

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