Updated — This video is a delightful clip of kids at Washington Square Park sledding and frolicking in the snow at the Mounds in 2008 featuring Karen Carpenter’s version of the song “Sleigh Ride.” It illustrates how children gravitated towards the Mounds as places of spontaneous play. It’s fun to watch if you are in need of a bit of holiday (and some free form) spirit.
Produced by Matt Davis.
The “new” “Mounds” are covered in bright green artificial turf and surrounded by “cable-net play.” No more sledding! A group of community activists worked very hard to keep the “Mounds” in the redesign plans (they were not originally) and succeeded with the assistance of former Council Member Alan Gerson. Community Board 2 was given a role of oversight of the redesign’s “details” via the Washington Square Park Task Force – but let this body lapse after Phase I opened. Alas, the Mounds are not six feet tall and look nothing like the original Mounds. Whether they will have elements of “spontaneous play” remains to be seen.
In October, Washington Square Park Administrator Sarah Neilson stated that Phase III of the park’s redesign – the final phase! – would be opening in 3 separate pieces, staggered, with the Mounds leading the way by Halloween. It seems now these parts will be opening all at one time (the Large Dog Run, also part of Phase III, opened in June). It’s well known that the community wanted the bathrooms renovated first – and yet they will be the very last piece to open, six years after the Park’s construction began.
More on the new “pergola” building which will house the bathrooms and Parks Department administrative offices (and who knows what else?) to come.
Update: And what timing! I just heard an interview on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show with author Daniel Campo about his recently released book, The Accidental Playground. His topic seems to dovetail with the “spontaneous play” aspect of the original “Mounds.” Learn more via this article at The Atlantic Cities: ‘The Accidental Playground:” Why What We Need in Our Parks is More Freedom
Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:
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More on Private Conservancy Watch Part V coming
today next – today or tomorrow!