Merry “Mounds” Video — A Look Back as the New “Mounds” Are Set to Debut

by cathryn on December 17, 2013

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.

Mounds Today

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:

Washington Square Park Phase III Construction To Have Staggered Opening — “Mounds” (or What Used to be the Mounds) Set to Open By Halloween October 16, 2013

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More on Private Conservancy Watch Part V coming today next – today or tomorrow!

 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Richard December 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

Ah, but 2008 was a simpler and more innocent time. How could anyone have known in our wide-eyed youth the terrible danger those kids were in from sliding down a gently sloping hill? Thank goodness times have changed and in this more enlightened era they’ll never be exposed to such terrible hazards again!

(Actually, those iron post things rising up — is the netting attached to them? — look far more hazardous than anything that used to be there. I wouldn’t want a kid to run into one of those by accident. That would be a crummy if in the name of “safety” they added something more likely to cause harm.)

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cathryn December 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Richard,

Love this – “2008 was a simpler and more innocent time.” So true.

“the terrible danger those kids were in from sliding down a gently sloping hill” – so perfect.

There are so many issues around that play equipment – you’re probably right about the iron posts … I didn’t even think of that. I would say that anyone testing out that equipment once it opens should proceed carefully in the name of “safety.”

Cathryn.

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