Peter Jung, who is spearheading the project to restore Sanford Gifford's grave, is spending a lot of time in the cemetery these days. Recently he came upon this expanse of concrete, shaped like a baseball diamond, at the edge of the cemetery near Columbia Turnpike. Last Sunday, he invited me to come along with him to the cemetery and have a look.
Before I published the pictures and asked Gossips readers to help identify the mystery site, I decided to send the pictures to DPW Superintendent Rob Perry and ask him what they showed. Perry explained that we'd discovered the site of the old Academy Hill playground, one of a series of neighborhood playgrounds that used to be found throughout the city. The concrete structure was a wading pool, which was already out of use in the 1960s. Nearby is a plateau where a volleyball/badminton net used to be erected and a storage shed/bathroom, which had originally been an early firehouse.