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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Dr. Gertrude B. Kelly Playground

W. 17 St., 8 Ave. To 9 Ave.


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This text is part of Parks’ Historical Signs Project and can be found posted within the park.

This parcel of land—located one hundred feet west of Ninth Avenue between 16th and 17th Streets—was granted to the Public School Society in 1853. It was the site of old P.S. 11 until 1933 when the school was demolished, and a new building was erected on 21st Street. Jurisdiction of the property then passed to the Department of Parks. In 1934 the site was developed as one of five “model playgrounds” in the five boroughs. According to a press release issued by Parks, “Model playgrounds were built in five congested neighborhoods, and demonstrated the use of small areas for recreational purposes. These playgrounds were designed and equipped to meet the present-day needs of the children, and to enable directors to conduct a wide range of activities with a minimal amount of supervision.”

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