Mayor Bloomberg and architect David Rockwell joined local officials and a crowd of more than 50 summer campers from around New York City to open Imagination Playground at Burling Slip in Lower Manhattan today.
It’s a far cry from the run-of-the-mill jungle gym and swing set. There are large foam “loose parts” building blocks, water spouts that can be channeled and dammed in myriad ways and a set of lifts and pulleys.
“For the 55,000 people who live in Lower Manhattan, it doesn’t get better than this: a new kind of playground in a new kind of residential district,” said 28-year Lower Manhattan resident Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. “Our research shows more families are moving Downtown—and staying. So thanks to Mayor Bloomberg, Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, DEP Commissioner Cas Holloway, LMDC Chairman Avi Schick and President David Emil and, of course, David Rockwell for this much-needed, kid-friendly amenity.”
The playground is also uniquely located in the shadow of historic South Street Seaport, and features a wooden bow-like east end, sloped boardwalks, and ship masts. An iron sea serpent guards the entrance.
Imagination Playground was made possible by a $4.5 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, along with $3 million from the City’s Department of Environmental Protection. You can view the city’s full release on the project here, and more pictures from the event on the Downtown Alliance’s Flickr page.