Equity Park was the 250th playground built in New York City under the direction of Parks Commissioner Robert Moses (1888-1981). Throughout his tenure in office, Moses opened as many as 15 playgrounds in a day, increasing the number of such spaces in the city from 119 to 777. This prolific expansion began with 71 new playgrounds opening in 1935, with 72 more constructed in 1936 and 52 in 1937.
Of the 119 playgrounds in existence before Moses became Parks Commissioner in 1932, only four were in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, two in Harlem, and thirty-two in the entire borough of Brooklyn, an average of one playground for every 14,000 children living in New York City. In addition to building new playgrounds, Moses increased the quality of many of the existing sites, since many in existence before his administration were poorly equipped and not surfaced. Equipment was so scarce that some children had to wait in line to play in many of the city’s sandboxes.
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