Washington Square PlaygroundsPhoto: Frank da Cruz © All Rights Reserved
Washington Square playgrounds were improved during the 1930s with the help of the New Deal. In 1935, Robert Moses proposed a major renovation of the park but he encountered neighborhood opposition. The agencies involved in funding or completing improvement work are unknown to the Living New Deal. During his tenure as Parks Commissioner, Moses used New Deal funding and labor to build public park facilities, yet rarely credited the New Deal agencies that supported the projects. Because he prohibited the placement of New Deal plaques and corner stones, we have few sources that tie public parks in New York to New Deal agencies. However, several of Moses’ statements reveal that during the 1930s most of the financial support and labor for New York parks and Parks Department staff came from federal funding. For a detailed discussion see, Frank da Cruz, Kermit Project, New Deal Assistance in NYC Parks Department Projects, 1934-43.
Kermit Project, New Deal Assistance in NYC Parks Department Projects, 1934-43 (http://kermitproject.org/newdeal/parksprojects.html#commentary), accessed May 9, 2018.
Kermit Project, New Deal sites in the Washington Square area of Manhattan, (http://kermitproject.org/newdeal/washingtonsquare/index.html), accessed May 9, 2018.
Washington Square Playgrounds, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, (https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/washington-square-park/facilities/playgrounds), accessed May 13, 2018.
Washington Square Playgrounds Conservancy: (http://washingtonsquareparkconservancy.org/history/), accessed May 13, 2018.
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on May 13, 2018.