One Room Schoolhouse Park Playground – East Elmhurst NY

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Description

The NYC Parks website explains that the park’s name comes from the fact that “Queens’ last one-room schoolhouse occupied this site from the time of its construction in 1879 until its demolition to make room for a public park in 1934.”

The press release announcing the opening of the playground within the park in December 1935 explained that it, and the other 12 playgrounds opened on the same day, collectively contained: “88 small swings; 72 large swings; 36 seesaws; 14 playhouses; 15 large slides; 11 sand tables; 10 garden swings; 7 small slides; 7 small tables; 6 handball courts; 6 jungle gyms; 5 shuffleboard courts; 5 wading pools; 4 parallel bars; 3 horizontal bars; 3 horizontal ladders; 3 horseshoe pitching, etc.; 2 basketball courts, 1 shower.”

As researcher Frank da Cruz explains here, almost all New York City Parks Department projects between 1934 and 1943 were accomplished with New Deal funds and/or labor; from April 1935 on, the WPA became the main source of this support.

The park is still going strong, but the current status of the playground is unknown. NYC Parks explains: “Subsequent decades saw the playground transformed into a sitting area that was popular with patrons of the public library once located across the street.  When the library moved in the 1970s so did many of the park’s regular visitors.  Rejuvenation of the park as a garden has been accomplished through a partnership between Parks and the Jackson Heights Neighborhood Association (formed in 1982).”

Source notes

New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43
Department of Parks, Press Release, December 18, 1935
NYC Parks - One Room Schoolhouse Park

Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on September 22, 2016.

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Location Info


90th St.
East Elmhurst, NY 11369

Coordinates: 40.763325, -73.879336

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