Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Well-intentioned but poorly upkept: Norris Square Park playground

Playground: Norris Square Park
Location: Park is a full city block between Hancock and Howard, Diamond and Susquehanna; playground is in the middle.
Date visited: 6/18/11

Equipment: Two swingsets, with a total of four strap and four bucket swings. Additionally two playsets close together:
  1. A large play structure with lots of climbing, curved and spiral plastic slides, one solid and one jointed bridge, monkey bars (both straight and a curved stretch of hanging rings that make up another set), a zip line (with no pully/ring), and a chain "rope net" for climbing. Also benches, store window, and other stuff for littler kids underneath.

  2. Lower playset that is just steps up to a platform (!) -- slide or something else is gone and boarded over.
material: weathered "modern resin and metal"; scale of space: medium in larger park
Ages: 2-10
Surface: rubbery around equipment; blacktop elsewhere
Shade(0-3): 0
Water: N
Other: lots of grassy areas, some blacktop area (good for skateboards or bikes), low/broad circular bench around play area looks fun to walk along, gazebo area with stone picnic tables, cheerfully muralled shed; basketball across park
Access: open (= dawn to dusk?)

Impressions: Well-designed but brutally worn playground in the (shadeless) center of a grassy park that offers pleasant shade but quite a bit of trash and graffitti. The equipment could use some love, especially additions to the smaller structure to give it some purpose and make the place more welcoming to younger visitors. Good for climbers, but feels a little bleak.
Overall rating: 6

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