Noble Playground (demolished, rebuilt) – Bronx NY


A Department of Parks press release from December 4, 1939 describes the completion of WPA work on Noble Playground, along with three other playgrounds:

“At East 177th Street and Noble Avenue the 3.6 acre area contains a children’s playground and a separate regulation baseball diamond with concrete bleachers accommodating 150 spectators. The children’s area is divided into two parts separated by a high, natural rock outcrop. One part contains a children’s playground with combination wading pool and volley ball court, kindergarten apparatus, a large shaded sandpit, slides, swings, jungle gym and a brick comfort station. The other part is paved and will be used as a combination roller skating and games area…

The opening of these four areas designed by the Park Department and built by the Work Projects Administration makes a total of 306 new or reconstructed playgrounds completed by the Park Department since 1934.”

Unfortunately, the park was temporarily destroyed when Robert Moses constructed the Cross Bronx Expressway. As the NYC Department of Parks site explains, “The expressway, a six-lane highway across the South Bronx, was one of Robert Moses’s most controversial undertakings. Hundreds of apartment buildings and many one- and two-family houses were demolished to make way for the new roadway, forcing thousands of Bronx residents to seek new homes. Among the casualties was Noble Playground; it closed in September 1951. Fortunately, the loss of recreational space was only temporary. The playground was reconstructed, and it reopened on October 7, 1954, providing a comfort station, a game area, and a ballfield with bleachers for the community. In 1998, Mayor Giuliani funded a $25,000 renovation of the comfort station.”

The rebuilt park looks nearly indistinguishable from standard WPA parks throughout the city.

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Location Info

Bronx River Ave.
Bronx, NY 10460

Coordinates: 40.8374303, -73.872275

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