The Raymond M. O’Connor Park and the Kennedy Playground within it were developed with federal relief funds in the 1930s. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) completed work on the park in 1935. The NYC Parks site explains that the park “was established as part of the massive expansion of recreational facilities, largely through Federal emergency relief funding, which took place in the 1930s under Parks Commissioner Robert Moses. In 1931 the city purchased property in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens for $95,000 to create a public playground and thoroughfare… the land was landscaped with lawns, shade trees and sidewalks by the Queens Borough President. Later improvements made by the Parks Department included the installation of a children’s play apparatus, a sports field, and a wading pool. The playground was opened along with six other new playgrounds on November 22, 1935. Present at the dedication were Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, Commissioner Moses, the head of the Federal Works Progress Administration, Harry L. Hopkins, and Queens Borough President George U. Harvey.”
The Parks press release announcing the opening on November 21, 1935, stated that including the seven playgrounds opened that day, “105 playgrounds will have been opened since January 1934.”
NYC Parks - Kennedy Playground
Department of Parks, Press Release, November 21, 1935
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 20, 2016.
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