Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fringes of Fairmount: Francisville Rec. Center playground

Playground: Francisville
Location: officially 1750 Wiley, close to 19th and Brown -- fills whole irregular city block (enter on W or E sides; many gates)
Date visited: 10/3/09

Equipment: Two zones, widely separated:
  • Tiny tot zone has a quite low playset with several types of climbing access but only one (metal) slide, two bucket swings nearby. A little ways off, near the entrance, is a cute old train-shaped climbing bar apparatus.
  • Older kid zone (fenced) has a larger playset with two levels, one having two shorter (plastic) slides with bumps and turns and various types of ladders, and the other having a single higher (metal) straight slide (and taller ladders). A solid arched bridge connects the two. Also strap swings nearby and an old-fashioned free-standing metal slide (7 feet tall?).
material: modern resin, somewhat weathered; scale: large
Ages: 1-7?
Surface: rubbery around equipment, blacktop elswhere (or grass)
Shade(0-3): 1
Water: Y (angled spray? off at visit)
Other: rec. center, pool, basketball courts, ball fields, extra blacktop and grassy areas
Access: dawn to dusk?

Impressions: Extensive playground and recreation center fills a block at the boundary between nicely tended rowhouses and abandoned lots; a number of cheery murals attest to the neighborhood's determination to come out on top. Lots of parking is available all around. The playground is also large and inviting, and everything is in good condition, although the playsets look weathered and there are big divots in the composite surface under the swings. The equipment, however, is a little uninspiring in practice, being a bit too reliant on ladder permutations at the expense of other types of play. Overall, a good neighborhood resource, but not a cross-town attractor.
Overall rating: 6

1 comment:

  1. This playground has been redone and is beautiful! There are now two playsets in the bigger kid area, much like those at Clemente. The surface beneath has been redone with no divots to speak of. A great neighborhood resource.