Heckscher Playground / Ballfields
This Playground is named for August Heckscher Sr. (1848-1941), a developer, financier and philanthropist. In the original 1858 Greensward Plan for the park, this area is listed as a "Play Ground", although that conception was simply as an open meadow rather than what we now think of as an area with recreational equipment for children. It's use as such started in the 1890s when progressive reformers introduced a small sand garden (see Rosenzweig) and in 1926, August Heckscher Sr. overcame considerable opposition from the park's wealthy neighbors and placed the park's first equipped playground in a location near Umpire Rock (on the south end of what became the Heckscher Ballfield) with swings, merry-go-rounds, spiral slides, jungle gyms, a field house and a wading pool.
In 1934, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses secured WPA funds for numerous changes to the park, including expanding the playground southward (over what was the southern part of the bridle path) and the addition of numerous playgrounds at other locations in the park (NYCGovParks.org).
Next: Ladies' Pond