The new Battery Playscape is open

The new playground at The Battery opened this morning with some fanfare — lots of elected officials, speeches and a bunch of lucky kids who had their run of the place. (The fact that it was 60 degrees in December did not go unnoticed.)

There’s a stage for puppet shows, a carpeted bowl for rolling and running, lots of ways to get up high and built-in houses for pretend play. The (gorgeous) slides are granite from the Adirondacks (1.4 billion years old!), and there are telescopes, chimes, rock paths and rope ladders to be discovered in surprising places.

All the activities are lining the access road to the park — where the Citi Bike docks are — which means you enter into a big open, unprogrammed plaza, which had a relaxing affect on me as an adult, and then allows the play structures to look out over the park and into the harbor. (It also means if you stand with your back to the gate, you can scan the whole park for your kid.) There’s lots of changes in elevation, and there’s much more there to play on and with than meets the eye, once you or your charge starts meandering through. I loved the reflective, stamped metal shade structures — my guess is they will need more of them.

The playground was designed (by Starr Whitehouse — Tribecan Laura Starr and designer Jeffrey Poor are below) to be flood proof and has a kind of brutalist style, with poured concrete walls and geometric platforms.

It’s really worth a visit, even if you are not there to play.



  1. It’s a great design and such a relief to not see the cookie cutter playgrounds now dotting the country.