A June 1936 press release announced the opening of a new playground at Lexington and 106th. It was equipped with “horseshoe pitching courts as well as an open play area for adult children.”
The NYC Parks site expands on the history of this park:
“This small playground has been a part of the Harlem community since the early part of the twentieth century. The Italian Benevolent Institute was the first organization to operate a playground on this site. In 1936, the City of New York acquired a 0.52-acre plot of land from the Institute and transferred jurisdiction over the property to Parks. In the following years, Parks lobbied to acquire more land because the small park could not accommodate the expanding community. In 1938, the park grew substantially after the successful purchase of a 0.118-acre plot adjacent to the northeast border of the park. Under the auspices of the Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia (1882-1947), the park took its current shape with the purchase of a 0.046-acre plot on the southeast corner of the original park property.
This playground was named in Walter White’s honor by Commissioner Stern in 1989. Six years later, the park underwent a $119,000 renovation.”
Although the 1936 press release does not mention the WPA or other New Deal agencies, researcher Frank da Cruz explains here that almost all New York City Parks Department projects between 1934 and 1943 were carried out with New Deal funds and/or labor, and that after April 1935, the WPA quickly became the main source of this support.
Department of Parks, Press Release, June 12, 1936 New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43 NYC Parks - White Playground
Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on October 5, 2016.
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