Bronx New Deal - Photo #394 - Belmont Playground


Image: Google Maps, accessed 21 October 2017.
Belmont Playgound in Bronx NY is bounded on three sides by East 182nd Street, Crotona Avenue, and Belmont Avenue. This is one of five playgrounds "constructed by the Department of Parks with relief labor and funds" opened by Mayor LaGuardia on Friday, July 30th, 1937 (the ceremony was held at a playground in Woodside, Queens). Originally the Park was ¾ acre, consisting mainly of a roller-skating track and play apparatus.[1]

Later additional land was acquired. Construction began in early December 1941 to enlarge the the park to 2¼ acres, and to add sufficient play facilities for the entire neighborhood and its schools, including a planned new West Bronx Vocational High School. 21 buildings were demolished and the land was cleared. This work was done by the WPA[2]. After that it's not clear what happened because 3 days after the press release, the United States entered World War II. I can find no announcement of the completion of this playground in the New-Deal-era Parks Department press releases.

The Parks Department[3] itself says that the vocational school was never built (its site is now occupied by the parking lot you see in the image), and that in 1954 Parks "improved and developed" the land for recreational use. In any case the original park was built by relief labor and funds, which means New Deal labor a