Saturday, September 5, 2009

The eye of the storm: Von Colln playground

Playground: Von Colln
Location: 23rd & Franklin Parkway (easiest to enter from Pennsylvania Avenue, but unfenced...)
Date visited: 8/30/09

Equipment: one playset, including four slides and one solid bridge, a variety of climbing stuff and monkey bars, and some zones underneath for playing hot dog stand, etc. Sets of bucket and strap swings nearby.
material: modern resin and metal; scale: medium-small space.
Ages: toddler through elementary age
Surface: rubbery composite under equipment, dirt elsewhere
Shade(0-3): 3 (lots of big old trees)
Water: N
Other: picnic tables, ball fields, extensive (sunny) grassy space, small rec. center
Access: dawn-dusk (no fence)

Impressions: This very shady playround feels friendly and neighborhoody despite its location close to the base of the Art Museum, with accompanying swirl of traffic. Great for a hot day or with a picnic in hand, and attracts a nice variety of users, but not huge or offering much for the smallest or older kids. Pluses: its small playset is more creative and interesting than many larger ones, and the banks of swings make you feel part of a group gathering. Minus: the challenge of parking anywhere close, or the amount of busy traffic that must be navigated to get here from the nearby neighborhoods. Overall, wouldn't drive across town for this one, but it's a nice resource for the neighborhood and more tucked away than would seem possible at this location.
Overall rating: 7

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