Central Park's North Meadow
in July 2015.
From the Park Department's press release of May 17, 1934:
The Park Department's new plan for the construction of
fifteen baseball diamonds in Central Park was announced today. These fifteen
baseball diamonds have been laid out in the North Meadow opposite 100th
street in Central Park. Up to now the playing of baseball has been
permitted in this area but no formal diamonds were provided and conditions
have been disorderly and unsatisfactory, thirteen of the new diamonds will
be usable now, but two will not be available for immediate play, due to rock
which must be blasted away to level off the surface. Base lines have been
marked out with lime as on major league baseball diamonds. Regular rubber
home plates are being installed and najor league canvas bags will be secured
in place to mark the bases. Temporary heavy wire backstops are being
installed. Permanent backstops would necessitate a delay in the immediate
use of these areas. These diamonds are laid out to provide safe play for all
teams using the grounds. Adequate space is provided for spectators.
Photo: Google Maps - Click to enlarge
Football and soccer will be provided for after the baseball
The old stable and storage yard, which has been in use since
the Civil War, is being converted into a modern field house. The Park
Departnent's horses quartered in these stables will be moved out of the
park, showers and locker rooms will be installed in this building, The
structure is of good design and is readily adaptable to the plan, the
storage yard in the rear of the old stable, which has been used for fifty
years as a dumping ground for refuse and discarded equipment, will be turned
over to recreation. Handball courts will be built on the site of the old
yard. The wall surrounding the old storage yard will be demolished.
Access to the new field house for recreation in Central Park
will be provided from the 97th street Transverse Road and from the
Park path system which encircles this area.
The connecting drive between the east and west park roads,
opposite 102nd Street, has been closed to vehicular traffic and this area
has been turned over to roller skating. The circular overlook on the west
side of the park, opposite 105th street, has been converted into a roller
skating rink. The Area in the center of the roller skating rink has been set
aside for lawn croquet and roque, while the area around the rink has been
reserved for other lawn sports.
A new playground for small children is also being built
adjacent to the roller skating circle.
The new facilities being added to Central Park are adjacent to
the tennis courts across the Transverse Road in the South Meadow.
The Park Department also has set aside twenty-three restricted
small plots, adjacent to all of the pedestrian entrances to Central Park,
for children under five years of age, in which to dig with their shovels and
pails. Sand boxes are provided for this purpose.
- New York City Parks Department
press release of May 17, 1934.
- Rosenzweig, Roy, and Elizabeth Blackmar, The
Park and the People: A History of Central Park, Cornell University Press
(1992), p.451: “His [Moses'] force of relief workers ... added
a field house and formal baseball diamonds to the North Meadow (around 98th
Street), where informal ball playing had been going on for many years.”
- New Deal Assistance in
NYC Parks Department Projects, 1934-43.