Olinville Playground on the east side of Bronx Park
at East 219th Street. The history of this playground seems to have been
misplaced; there is no mention of it in the Parks Deparment press releases
during the New
Deal. The Parks Department itself has no information about its origins, and
every conceivable Google search turns up a Big Zero, as do NY Times
But it is in a place (the north end of Bronx Park) where 100% of everything
was built by the WPA. The timing is right too; the Parks
Department says, "Parks obtained the land for Olinville Playground in
conjunction with the construction of the Bronx River Parkway extension in
Robert Moses said in 1938, "Without a doubt the greatest achievement of
the past five year period of the park consolidation has been the increase,
over three-fold, in recreational facilities and the general rehabilitation
and reconstruction of park areas made possible by the relief program."
The June 22, 1941, press release
mentions two marginal playgrounds just completed. One of them is
Rosewood Playground, and the other
one is not identified.
The July 29, 1940, press release
says "Four playgrounds along the easterly boundary have already been opened
to the public". After this, we have press releases announcing the opening
of the 227th Street playground and
Department website verifies that French Charley's Playground, opened in
June 1941, with WPA (Works Progress Administration) [providing] the labor
force for the new construction". This must have been the second marginal
playground mentioned in the June 22
Since Reiss Field and Waring Playground were both completed in
1939, and French Charley's in 1941, there remains only one Bronx Park
playground that could be the "fourth already opened": Olinville Playground.
Perhaps the most compelling argument is that it looks exactly like the
WPA-built playgrounds all around it: same fence, same swings, same surface,
same flagpole and pedestal, same comfort station.