A must watch! This holiday video set to Karen Carpenter’s “Sleigh Ride” highlights kids sledding and frolicking in the snow on the old Mounds at Washington Square Park in December 2008 before their remodeling. It illustrates perfectly how the structures, sometimes referred to as “the three hills,” functioned as a place of spontaneous play.
The new “Mounds” were installed post-2013. It was only recently they were again used for sledding, and solely due to the fact, that, in October, a Parks Department employee “determined the cables had become a safety hazard” and so were removed.
Look at the low fences around the park! You can see parts of the park were under construction in the background. There was talk at one point of bringing in “temporary sledding structures.”
Located in the Southwestern section of the park, the “Mounds” were originally scheduled for removal in the controversial Bloomberg-era redesign plans. Activists pushed for the Mounds to be included, they were successful, and, as we know, they are a hit.
The new “Mounds” somewhat resemble the old Mounds and yet are definitely different: they are shorter — the old Mounds were 6 feet tall; the new version was supposed to match in height but does not and are covered in artificial turf and “cable-net play.”
This video was produced by Matt Davis who was putting together a film, “SQUARE: Straightening out Washington Square Park,” documenting what went on behind-the-scenes and within the community around the contentious redesign of the beloved park (begun late 2007).
It is ironic that the new Mounds, which the Bloomberg Administration Parks Department and re-designer George Vellonakis (previous Park Administrator) so did not want in the park, have been so popular.
Click here for what I wrote about this video and the old Mounds in 2013 as the new “Mounds” were set to debut.
Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:
Merry “Mounds” Video — A Look Back as the New “Mounds” Are Set to Debut December 17, 2013
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