Playground at Stadium Place
Published: September 22, 2010
Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Family Center Y at Stadium Place, 900 E. 33rd St., stadiumplayground.org
This playground on the former Memorial Stadium property captures the city's spirit. The park, a miniature town built of recycled plastic "lumber," was designed with kid input and built by hordes of volunteers in April 2005. There was a boat, a theater, a shopping village, towers, swings and jungle gyms galore, plus a volcano. It was an instant success with families in surrounding neighborhoods, so when vandals burned down the park in September 2008, kids (and parents) who loved this maze of brightly painted wacky structures were devastated. Spirits were not broken, however, and volunteers rebuilt the playground, restoring it in May 2009 more or less to its original layout. It's a testament to the power of collective action and neighborly spirit we don't get enough of in this city. And judging by the typical Saturday afternoon mayhem, the kids still absolutely love it.