This holiday video is set to Karen Carpenter’s “Sleigh Ride” and highlights kids sledding and frolicking in the snow in December 2008 on Washington Square Park’s old Mounds. It illustrates how the structures, sometimes referred to as “the three hills,” functioned as a place of spontaneous play.
The new “Mounds” were installed around 2013. Only recently, they were again used for sledding, due to the fact, that in October a Parks Department employee “determined the cables had become a safety hazard” and so they 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 early on of bringing in “temporary sledding structures.” (This never happened.)
The Mounds as They Were
Located in the Southwestern section of the park, the “Mounds” were scheduled for removal in the Bloomberg-era redesign plans. Activists pushed for the Mounds to be included; they were successful, and, as we know now, 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 is covered in artificial turf and (previously) “cable-net play.”
Capturing a Moment in Time
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 within the community around the contentious redesign of the beloved park.
It is ironic that the new ‘Mounds,’ which the Bloomberg Administration’s Parks Department and re-designer George Vellonakis so did not want in the park, have been so popular.
This was 14 years ago. What happened to the kids in this video? I hope they are all thriving.
Previously at Washington Square Park Blog:
Merry “Mounds” Video — A Look Back as the New “Mounds” Are Set to Debut December 17, 2013