St. Andrew's Playground
St. Andrew’s Playground
This playground, like the street it lies on, honors St. Andrew, one of the twelve apostles and the patron saint of Russia and Scotland. A Galilean fisherman, according to the Bible, he was originally a disciple of John the Baptist before he was called from his fishing by Jesus, who promised to make him a “fisher of men.”
Tradition has it that St. Andrew was crucified in Patras, Greece, on a cross shaped like an “X”; this type of cross now bears his name. Tales tell of his miraculous ministry in Russia, Asia Minor, and Greece. His feats included saving a city from dog-shaped demons, driving away the devil, who was disguised as a courtesan seducing a bishop, and using just a few drops of water to douse a house set aflame by parents angry at their boy’s conversion to Christianity. In the 8th century, relics of St. Andrew were taken to the future site of Saint Andrews in Scotland. It was then that he became the patron saint of the country. A white Saint Andrew’s cross on a blue field is the national flag of Scotland.
This parkland, located between Atlantic Avenue and Herkimer Street, Kingston Avenue and St. Andrews Place, was originally the home of the Brooklyn Orphan Asylum. Now known as Brookwood Child Care and located on Washington Street, the Brooklyn Orphan Asylum was created in 1833 by a group of progressive women reformers. The City bought this site in 1945 in order to build this playground.
St. Andrews Playground offers facilities for basketball, handball, and baseball; the baseball field is equipped with lights for evening games. There are also benches, play equipment with safety surfacing, a comfort station, a spray shower, a drinking fountain, swings, picnic tables, a flagpole with a yardarm, and oaks (Quercus spp.) and London planetrees (Platanus x acerifolia). By providing a place where they can play, the park continues this site’s tradition of meeting the needs of children.