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Project of the Month April '01


CLAIRE DUDLEY: Project Manager

SUSAN COKER: Specs & Estimating



Location: The park is located in the Southwest portion of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park at 111th Street and Corona Avenue, in Queens. It is within Council District #21 and Community Board #15.

Site History: In 1974, the City of New York set aside $100,000 from its first Federal Community Development block grant to design a playground for disabled children. It was to be the "first playground in the nation especially designed for the integrated recreational enjoyment of children with disabilities as well as able bodied youngsters."

Estimated Construction Start: Late Summer, 2001.

Illustration of park playground

A design competition was jointly sponsored by Parks, the Recreation and Cultural Affairs Administration, and the Department of City Planning, in order to encourage a variety of approaches and solutions.

The winning design was the entry from Architect Hisham N. Ashkonri, and from 1980-1982, the Playground for All Children was constructed in the southwest corner of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens.

This project will reconstruct this special playground so that it complies with current accessibility and safety standards.


All children delight in playing outdoors, swinging on a swing and feeling the breeze in their hair, picnicking under the trees in a park, interacting with one another on creative play equipment, playing in water on a hot summer day, making music, and playing in forts and hideouts. At the reconstructed Playground for All Children, all children, whether wheelchair bound or running free, will be able to experience these delights.

The new Playground for All Children will provide a stimulating experience for able-bodied children as well as handicapped children that might be unable to play in the same way that other children can. All children will feel that they are part of the fun at this playland, and handicapped and able-bodied children will interact with one another. Achieving such a play environment means generating creative and alternative ways for all children to have fun and be stimulated.

Under this project, pavement, benches, play equipment, water play and safety surfacing currently in poor condition will be removed. The accessible swings, court games area, bridges, natural area, amphitheater, shade structures, benches & picnic tables, water course, drainage & water supply systems will all be reconstructed. New benches, accessible picnic tables, accessible play units, safety surfacing, play houses, musical play pieces, water play, wooden planters and walls, decorative pavement, fencing, and painted murals will be installed.

With many ramps (that all comply with ADA codes), play equipment has been designed to accommodate all children. Whether wheeling or running up and down these ramps, children will be able to enjoy their play experience. A play village, with houses large enough for wheelchairs to maneuver into and out of, will also provide creative play for kids as they create imaginary forts or houses.

Swings with extra back support in the seats will accommodate children that may not have the strength to sit up on their own. A glider swing will accommodate wheelchairs. The water spray feature will create a water curtain so that children can experience the sensation of water without getting wet.

The musical play area will include drum tables, chime & music walls, dance chimes that children can step on or wheel across to make music, a xylophone, and a series of stomp tubes that can be lifted and dropped to create vibrations.