It includes a sand play area, swings, and an interactive water feature. The Central Park Conservancy rebuilt it in 2013 with a distinctive design of contoured landforms scaled for young kids.
While this playground may look like any other in Central Park, its location directly adjacent to another playground and small size both indicate its unconventional beginning. It was created in 1956, the result of a highly publicized conflict known as the “Battle of Central Park” between Upper West Side neighborhood parents and the administration of NYC Parks under Commissioner Robert Moses. The administration planned to build a parking lot for Tavern on the Green in this landscape, but families who frequented the area protested the project. After NYC Parks began construction, protests continued, leading to a lawsuit that defeated the project. The site was already altered, with trees and vegetation removed, so NYC Parks decided to create a playground on the site as a concession to families.
Central Park has 21 playgrounds that are unique in design and character. Most of them were built in the 1930s as part of a system of playgrounds located along the Park perimeter. The Conservancy regularly updates these spaces to include new equipment and infrastructure that reflect changing ideas about children’s play and safety and accessibility standards. Since 2011, the Conservancy has been working to rebuild or renovate all the Park’s playgrounds, with the goal of bringing each of them up to the same standard of excellence at the same time and focusing on making them feel more connected to the Park’s landscapes and experiences.