Sunday, November 15, 2009

Parts West: A Playground in Mantua

Playground: 39th & Olive playground
Location: On 39th at Olive (just north of Fairmount), entrances on 39th
Date visited: 11/15/09

Equipment: Two main zones, separated by a partial fence:
  • Younger kids' section has 3 "hobby horse" sort of riding toys on springs, 4 bucket swings, and one playset with numerous ladders, a solid bridge, and two rather simple (metal) slides.
  • Older kids' area has lots of climbing options, to various heights of the main playset, which also has a crawl tunnel, fireman's pole, and 4 total (metal) slides including a high straight and a steep spiral one. Also 6 strap swings and a free-standing additional climbing structure in this area. Nearby are a pair of stone seals that must provide overlapping sprays of water in summertime.
material: modern resin, but weathered, with metal slides; scale: large space
Ages: 1-10?
Surface: rubbery around equipment, asphalt elsewhere
Shade(0-3): 0
Water: Y
Other: Swimming pool, basketball courts (3, with bleachers), open blacktop areas, small rec. center, nearby park-like area with benches and gravel/clay, grass, and woodchip-covered areas.
Access: 6AM - 10PM

Impressions: Nice mix of equipment would serve a range of ages and activities. However, the hilly terrain, while fun for a new walker, also attracts lots of skateboarders and bladers (the only other users during our visit, probable ages 6-10), which could be tricky when busy, especially in the tot area. Also, there appeared to be quite a bit of broken glass, both new (a couple of smashed bottles) and old (tiny shards imbedded in the play surface). The effect of several cheerful murals is undermined by a lot of Sharpie graffitti on unpainted parts of the equipment -- something of a reflection of the depressed state of the neighborhood.
Overall rating: 6

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