Central Park New Deal Sites

Frank da Cruz
fdc@columbia.edu
March 4, 2018
Last update: Wed Mar 7 16:04:05 2018 NYC time
Overview    See gallery    Central Park New Deal Map

These are the Central Park New Deal projects I've been able to identify so far. Links in the first column are to pages of mine that have details about the New Deal pedigree of the site. An Announcement link in the last column goes to a Parks Department press release for the site. Bear in mind that beyond what is shown here, the entire park was renovated, every square inch, including landscape, infrastructure, walls, paths, roads, flora, and fauna. New Deal labor also removed some significant Park features, including the 1842 Croton Receiving Reservoir (filled in to become the Great Lawn) and the 1864 Central Park Casino (to make way for the Rumsey Playfield).

Type: N = New construction; R = Renovation;   Class = New Deal Pedigree  (see below)
Site (current name) Location Type Class Year Notes
Adventure Playground West Side at 68th Street N D 1936 (marginal) Announce­ment
Ancient Playground East Side at 84th Street N A 1936 (marginal)
Alice in Wonderland Statue James Michael Levin Playground N C 1935 Moved from Heckscher Playground
Arsenal East Side at 64th Street R D/C 1934 NYC Parks Depart­ment head­quarters
Arsenal Murals Inside the Arsenal N A 1936
Bernard Family Playground Harlem Meer, 5th Ave and 108th St N D 1936 (marginal)
Bicycle path South end of park N D 1941 Announce­ment
Billy Johnson Playground East Side at 67th Street N D (marginal)
Bridle Path North Meadow R D 1934
Bridle Path Around the Reservoir R D 1934
Bridle Path Lower park R D 1934
Columbus Monument Restoration Columbus Circle R A 193x (somewhere between 1934 and 1937)
Conservatory Garden East Side at 106th Street N B 1937
Diana Ross Playground West Side at 81st Street N D 1936 (marginal) Announce­ment
East 72nd Street Playground East side at 72nd Street N D (marginal)
East 96th Street Playground East Side at 96th Street N D (marginal)
East 110th Street Playground Harlem Meer N D 1936 (marginal)
Great Lawn Behind Metropolitan Museum N A 1936 Includes 8 new ballfields
Great Lawn Game Courts NE corner of Great Lawn N D 1936 Announce­ment
Harlem Meer Northeast corner of park R A 1943
Harlem Meer Boathouse Northeast corner of park N E 1947 Completion delayed by WWII
Heckscher Playground Southwest corner R D/E 1936 Includes 6 ballfields, some new
James Michael Levin Playground East Side at 77th Street N D 1936 (marginal) Announce­ment
Maine Monument Restoration Columbus Circle R A 193x (somewhere between 1934 and 1937)
Mariners' Playground West Side at 84th Street N D 1936 (marginal) Announce­ment
Model Boathouse East Side at 74th Street N B/E 1936
Mother Goose Statue East Side at 72nd Street N A 1938
North Meadow North of 97th Street Transverse R C/D 1935 Includes 12 new ballfields
North Meadow Recreation Center 97th Street Transverse R D 1935 Announce­ment
Pat Hoffman Friedman Playground East Side at 79th Street N D (marginal)
Pinetum Playground West Side at 84th Street N D 1936 Just above the Great Lawn
Robert Bendheim Playground East Side at 100th Street N D 1936 (marginal) Announce­ment
Rudin Family Playground West Side at 96th Street N D 1936 (marginal) Announce­ment
Rumsey Playfield East Side at 72nd Street N D 1937 (marginal) Announce­ment
Safari Playground West Side at 91st Street R E (marginal)
Seventh Regiment Monument West Side at 67th Street R C 1937 (restoration) Announce­ment
Still Hunt Statue East Drive at about 77th Street R D 1937 (restoration)
Tarr Family Playground West Side at 100th Street N D 1936 (marginal) Announce­ment
Tavern on the Green West Side at 66th Street R A 1934
Tots Playground West Side at 68th Street N D 1936 (marginal) Announce­ment
(VANISHED PLAYGROUND) West Side at 76th Street N A 1941 (marginal) Announce­ment
West 86th Street Playground West Drive at 86th Street N E (marginal)
West 110th Street Playground Northwest corner of park N D (marginal)
Wild West Playground West Side at 93rd Street N D 1936 (marginal) Announce­ment
Zoo (Central Park Zoo) E 64th Street behind Arsenal N A 1934

Class (= New Deal pedigree):
A =  Solid New Deal credit by Parks Dept in press release or website, and/or other NYC government website.
B =  Work done during New Deal by Parks Department; does not credit New Deal, but New Deal credited by other credible source, e.g. the NY Times or a reputable book.
C =  No explicit credit to New Deal but a New Deal architect, engineer, or sculptor was credited by name.
D =  No explicit credit to New Deal but records show that nearly all work done in Central Park 1934-1943 was with New Deal funding and labor [explain].
E =  Probable New Deal project but exact date is uncertain. Or project was begun during New Deal and completed later. Or the project was supposedly funded privately but did not specify where the labor came from, so it was probably "relief labor". Or the information is simply missing, as for many of the playgrounds, all of which but one we can deduce were built during the New Deal because we have counts, if not explicit lists.
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