While much of Central Park has remained relatively intact since its creation, Rumsey Playfield has undergone many transformations. Located on a hill overlooking the Concert Ground, the site originally featured a restaurant created by Park co-designer Calvert Vaux, which was known as the Casino. (The restaurant did not host any gambling; the name means “little house” in Italian.). In the 1920s, the modest building had become run-down and was replaced by a more elaborate structure in the Art Deco style that became a well-known, glitzy nightclub. Deemed too elitist by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, it was razed in 1937 and a playground (named for Mary Harriman Rumsey, a well-known philanthropist and social reformer) created in its place. The Mother Goose statue, which marks the playfield entrance, was added at this time. The playground was not well-used and fell into disrepair. In the 1980s, the Central Park Conservancy converted it into a sports field for older children. SummerStage moved from the Naumburg Bandshell to the Rumsey Playfield in 1990.
Things you can do here
Journey through the center of Central Park.
Since its creation, women have helped make Central Park a unique and thriving public space.
Tags: Tours by Park Area