FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
NYC PARKS BREAKS GROUND ON $4.2 MILLION RECONSTRUCTION OF ANNE LOFTUS PLAYGROUND IN FORT TRYON PARK
NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff today joined City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, State Assemblymember Carmen De La Rosa, Fort Tryon Park Trust Chair Jeff Bauml, and community members to break ground on the reconstruction of Anne Loftus Playground in Fort Tryon Park.
“Anne Loftus Playground is a treasured playscape and gathering place for the surrounding community, and thanks to funding from Council Member Rodriguez, this exciting project will make the northeast corner of Fort Tryon Park more dynamic and accessible,” said Commissioner Fialkoff. “With a transformed spray shower area, new recreational features and more, the renovated site will serve as a source of pride and fun for Washington Heights and Inwood for years to come.”
The project will completely reconstruct the playground’s central spray shower area, creating a variety of spray features for children of all ages and abilities. ADA access has been incorporated into the design of this project while maintaining the site’s historic character. The reconstruction will also include a new half basketball court, new climbing and fitness equipment, safety surfacing, pavement, plantings, and additional seating.
The $4.2 million project was fully funded by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.
“I am proud to be breaking ground at Anne Loftus Playground as it receives a much needed renovation. I thank NYC Parks Commissioner Fialkoff and Borough Commissioner Castro for all their support in this project,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. “Thanks to the support of Speaker Corey Johnson and Mayor de Blasio, we were able to secure $4.2 million for the renovation of Anne Loftus Playground. This investment will help bring new life to one of our dearly beloved playgrounds. I am truly excited for the many other improvements coming to the Northern Manhattan community in the near future.”
“The Anne Loftus Playground serves as a magnet for kids from all walks of life. This investment in the park’s future couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time,” said Community Board 12 Chair Eleazar Bueno.
“For over a decade, the Fort Tryon Park Trust has been collaborating with NYC Parks on the Broadway Initiative: restoring drinking fountains, creating greeting gardens, upgrading seating and trash cans, providing dynamic events, repairing walls and staircases and engaging community stewards. The reconstruction of Anne Loftus Playground will serve as the Broadway Initiative’s culminating feature. We are so grateful to the Councilmember for his generous capital allocation for the project,” noted Jeff Bauml, Fort Tryon Park Trust Board Chair.
Anne Loftus Playground is located in the northeast corner of Fort Tryon Park. The park was designed and constructed by the Olmsted Brothers between 1927 and 1935, and the site of this playground was specifically chosen for its flat surface and ease of access from the street. In 1990, the playground was named in honor of former District Manager of Manhattan Community Board 12 Anne Loftus (1925-1989), who lived across the street and was a well-respected community leader. Fort Tryon Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and designated a New York City Scenic Landmark.