Restorations

Adventure Playground

The first playground on this site, just north of the West 67th Street entrance, was originally built in the 1930s. In 1966, the architect Richard Dattner redesigned the playground as Adventure Playground. It became the first playground in the Park to be reconstructed in the adventure style, which emerged in the 1960s. Adventure-style playgrounds feature interconnected play structures that are intended to encourage exploration and imaginative play.

The Conservancy renovated the playground in 1997. This refurbishment included addressing concerns of contemporary users and complying with safety and accessibility standards, while preserving unique and character-defining aspects of the existing design.

This latest reconstruction, which concluded in 2015, preserved the original design, while adding new adventure-style play elements. The playground features a conical climber with tunnels and a slide, a fortress, maze-like structures, a circular water spray feature, sand play areas, and expansive safety carpeting.

This latest rehabilitation project included:

  • Creating a fully accessible route to, from, and through the play space by removing barriers and regrading steep slopes
  • Repairing and rebuilding deteriorated elements
  • Adding new plantings in the surrounding landscape
  • Installing new water supply infrastructure and drainage within and adjacent to the playground
  • Adding new play elements including a sand table and sound tubes

This project is part of the Conservancy’s effort to guide the continued stewardship of Central Park’s 21 playgrounds, as outlined in Plan for Play: A Framework for Rebuilding and Managing Central Park’s Playgrounds.

Playground before reconstruction The playground after restoration Aerial view of the restored playground

Adventure Playground before and after reconstruction

Playground before reconstruction; after reconstruction; aerial view after reconstruction