William McCray Playground – New York NY


From NYC Parks:

“William McCray Playground is one of nine playgrounds that was built by the Parks Department through a war memorial fund, and was opened simultaneously on July 15, 1934. The War Memorial Fund of $250,000 was established in 1921 with monies collected by the Police Department, and by 1934 the fund—never spent—had grown in value to $350,000. Seeking additional open spaces for children, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses obtained a legal ruling which permitted use of the fund for playground development. Marked with a commemorative tablet, each property was to honor the memory of a soldier who gave his life in combat.

The Fund was transferred to Parks on March 19, 1934, and with additional funding from the Federal Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, the nine playgrounds were constructed within four months. Each site was equipped with a play area, wading pool, brick field house and comfort station, and flagpole. This construction was part of a larger citywide effort which expanded the number of playgrounds from 157 to 196 in that year. The war memorial playgrounds were dedicated in an official ceremony led by Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia and Commissioner Moses at William E. Sheridan Playground in Brooklyn. From Brooklyn the ceremony was broadcast to all the other playgrounds by an elaborate public address system.”

Later additions to the playground in 1989 and 1992 more than doubled the size of the property.

Source notes

NYC Parks - William McCray Playground
Department of Parks, Press Release, August 12, 1935
New York City Parks Department New Deal Projects 1934-43

Project originally submitted by Frank da Cruz on January 31, 2017.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

W 138th St.
New York, NY 10037

Coordinates: 40.815564, -73.937735

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