Playgrounds

Playing with Art: The Isamu Noguchi Playscape

Posted on: September 19th, 2013 by Aria Danaparamita 5 Comments

 

The Isamu Noguchi Playscape: Is it a park? Is it sculpture? Let’s call it visionary playground design.
The Isamu Noguchi Playscape: Is it a park? Is it art? Let’s call it visionary playground design.

Don’t touch the art -- play with it! Kids can definitely get their hands and feet all over this sculpture installation. The Isamu Noguchi Playscape, a colorful world of reimagined play and art, is found in the Olmsted-designed Piedmont Park, Atlanta, Georgia.

At the Playscape, swings, slides, and jungle gyms are reconceptualized as sculpture. Likewise, sculpture is rethought for its communal function, blurring the line between fine art, landscape design, and good old childhood fun.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita

Aria Danaparamita, or Mita, is a contributor to the PreservationNation blog and recent graduate of Wesleyan University. She enjoys walks, coffee, and short stories. Follow her odd adventures on Twitter at @mitatweets.

Imaginations Lift Off at Los Arboles "Rocketship" Park

Posted on: September 12th, 2013 by Lauren Walser 4 Comments

 

The Rocketship Park. Credit: Neil Klemer, Flickr.
The Rocketship Park in Torrance, California.

For generations of children who have grown up in Torrance, Calif., traveling to outer space was as easy as visiting Los Arboles “Rocketship” Park.

The highlight of the 6.3-acre park, completed in the 1960s, has long been the 28-foot-tall rocket ship play structure, purchased from a catalog of playground equipment shortly after a local developer donated the land for the park to the city.

On any given day for the last five decades, park visitors would see children scaling the ladder inside the ship from one level to the next and careening down the metal slide on the outside of the structure.

“Kids feel like they’re blasting off into space,” says Janet Payne, a vice president with Torrance Historical Society.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser

Lauren Walser is the Los Angeles-based Field Editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys writing and thinking about history, art, architecture, and public space.

A Fun-ful History at Riverside Park

Posted on: September 5th, 2013 by Katherine Flynn 7 Comments

 

One of two “tall” slides on the Riverside playground manufactured in the early 1900s by the Fun-ful Company. Credit: Michael Bates, batesline.com
One of two “tall” slides on the Riverside playground manufactured in the early 1900s by the Fun-ful Company.

When Riverside Park’s insurance company told park staff that they needed to remove two playground slides dating from the early 1900s for safety reasons, Barbara Beurskens, director of the Independence, Kan. park, knew that she and her team had to find a solution that would keep the metal playscapes in place.

"These are so important to the community," says park staffer Rachel Lyon of the tall slides manufactured by the now-defunct FUN-FUL company.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn

Katherine Flynn is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores and uncovering the stories behind historic places. Follow her on Twitter at @kateallthetime.

Endangered Species: Chicago's Animal Court Playground Looks to Rebound

Posted on: September 3rd, 2013 by David Robert Weible 4 Comments

 

The concrete sculptures were designed for children to climb and play on. The largest of the Animal Court sculptures consists of a bison, and what appears to be a mountain lion and her cub. Credit: National Public Housing Museum, Chicago, IL.
The concrete sculptures were designed for children to climb and play on. The largest of the Animal Court sculptures consists of a bison, and what appears to be a mountain lion and her cub.

For decades, the concrete statues of the Animal Court Playground on Chicago’s near west side stood as icons of the local landscape. And though they were removed in the early 2000s as part of a massive development overhaul by the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), a new project is hoping to bring them back home.... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible

David Robert Weible is an assistant editor at Preservation magazine. He came to DC from Cleveland, Ohio, where he wrote for Sailing World and Outside magazines.

Historic Playgrounds: Seward Park, NYC

Posted on: August 22nd, 2013 by Paulina Tam

 

This week's installment on historic playgrounds comes to you from the Big Apple, where editorial intern Paulina Tam reports on Seward Park in New York City’s Lower East Side (more history after the jump!):

... Read More →

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Paulina Tam

Paulina Tam

Paulina Tam is an intern at Preservation magazine as well as the Features Co-Editor of The Observer at Fordham University. A WWII and aviation fanatic, she maintains a growing collection of WWII model airplanes that accompanies her hometown writing station.