Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mystery Discovered, Mystery Solved

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.

1 comment:

  1. This comment was received from Chuck Hallenbeck:

    "I spent many a happy summer day in that playground, in the early 1940's, competing in checkers tournaments and helping the attendant lug equipment out of and into that shed. It was always well attended, a real handful for the sole staffer. We lived on Carle Avenue at the time, a short distance away. I think the overwhelming majority of kids who attended there were from neighboring areas. We had genuine neighborhoods in those days."