This playground, located on East Broadway, Gouverneur, and Henry Streets, is named to honor Sol Lain (1936-1971), a community activist who dedicated his life to serving the youth of this Lower East Side neighborhood. Lain lived in the nearby Vladeck Park Houses with his wife Betty, and ran youth sports programs at the Henry Street Settlement, and later at the Educational Alliance. He oversaw baseball and other recreational activities at these and other non-profit organizations, but his passion was basketball. Lain often brought teams he coached to sports tournaments as far away as the Catskills. In the 1960s, tournaments organized by Lain at this playground attracted professional basketball players including Fred Crawford and Bob McCullough, and rivaled the Harlem’s legendary Rucker tournaments for a time. When Sol Lain died of cancer in 1971, a local law passed naming this park, formerly Henry Street Playground, in his honor.
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