Frank da Cruz, Bronx NY, 10 August 2018Most recent update: Wed Sep 9 11:14:20 2020
Jackie Robinson Park is an immense 10-block-long installation in Harlem, New York City, originally called Colonial Park. In the mid-1930s a massive two-year-long New Deal construction project transformed a little-used bare-bones park into a world-class swimming and recreation complex for the long-underserved people of Harlem. The result, originally called Colonial Play Center, included a huge swimming pool, an equally huge bathhouse and recreation center, a diving pool, a bandshell with a large outdoor terrace for dancing, a playground for small children, a wading pool and bathhouse for older children, athletic fields and game courts for teens and grownups, and natural parkland. It made an enormous difference in the lives of Harlem residents, especially in the blistering heat of Summer 1936. In 1978 the park's name was changed to honor Jackie Robinson. In 2007 it was designated a New York City landmark. In March 2022 new historical marker acknowledging the WPA was installed by Parks Department at the Play Center's main entrance.