Robert Bendheim Playground Renovation

Our renovation of Bendheim Playground included meeting current safety and accessibility standards, fixing items that are in disrepair, and reviving the landscape character.

Just north of the East Meadow is Robert Bendheim Playground, a play space designed for pre-school and school-age children. The original playground at this location was part of the group of playgrounds constructed along the edges of Central Park in the 1930s under Parks Commissioner Robert Moses.

The playground contains a large central play structure, a traditional sandbox and raised sand tables, swings and bucket swings, and a water spray feature. Several large trees inside and around the playground provide shade and reinforce a connection to the surrounding landscape. The Conservancy reconstructed the playground in 1997 to be universally accessible and added an accessible restroom inside the playground’s entrance in 1999.

The playground before reconstruction

Bird’s-eye view of the playground before reconstruction

In the years since, playground accessibility standards have become more specific. With this renovation, the Conservancy ensures that the playground is accessible under current standards and fixes overall wear and tear from decades of use.

The sand table is a self-contained tier above the larger sand feature.

The sand table before reconstruction

Our work included:

  • Regrading and repaving the playground to ensure accessible movement throughout the space
  • Replacing the existing ramped play structure with one that meets current accessibility standards
  • Replacing safety surfacing throughout the playground
  • Refurbishing the sandbox and spiral water spray feature and modernizing the water feature infrastructure
  • Refurbishing site furnishings, such as benches and the playground fence
  • Replacing the playground gate and drinking fountain to meet current accessibility and safety standards
  • Enhancing landscape plantings around the playground

Construction began in fall 2020 and concluded in May 2021.

The water feature resembles a red coil large enough for small children to run through the center.

The water spray feature

Also in the area