Fox Playground

The Daily Plant : Monday, November 23, 2009

Fourth Grade Choir Sings Praises to Community Officials and Rapt Audience of Locals as Playground Is Reborn in the South Bronx

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

On November 19, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe joined City Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo, Director of Planning for the Office of the Bronx Borough President Wilhelm Ronda, New York State Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, New York Civic Participation Project (NYCPP) members Braleo Calzado and Socorro Diaz, and fourth graders from St. Athanasius to break ground on $2.5 million in improvements to Fox Playground. The reconstruction is funded by Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“Thanks to funding from City Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Fox Playground is getting a makeover,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “The new playground will be completely rebuilt with new play equipment, water features, basketball and handball courts, landscaping and even a new dog run. The reconstructed playground will offer something for everyone, most importantly, much needed recreational amenities to help keep children of Longwood fit and active.”

The completed playground will include an expanded play area with swings and new play equipment, brand new water features including a spray shower and water fountain, new handball court, renovated basketball court, new landscaping, and the restoration of a retaining wall. The playground Designer is Michael Michaelek, the Construction Project Manager is Andrew Newson, and the contractor is Doyle-Baldante.

Fox Playground was named in honor of a 19th century Bronx resident, William F. Fox. In the 1850s, Fox inherited a large estate in the South Bronx that was surveyed by the Frenchman Louis Risse, who later designed the Grand Concourse. Fox further increased his wealth when he took the affluent Charlotte Leggett as his bride. The Leggetts first settled in the Bronx as early as 1661, where Gabriel and Elizabeth Leggett became the proprietors of what is now the West Farms neighborhood.

The property on which Fox Playground presently stands was first vested to the City in 1972. On July 17, 1979 the Department of General Services granted the land to Parks, which developed the site as a playground. In 1987, the site was named Fox Playground.

Since 2002, Parks has invested more than $175 million for Bronx park improvements, including new waterfront parks, greenways, and recreational facilities. Currently, Parks is investing over $700 million to develop nearly 130 different park projects in the Bronx, including the Yankee redevelopment projects, and projects funded through the construction of the Croton Water Filtration Plant.


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“We want to create works of art of joy and beauty, which we will build because we believe it will be beautiful. The only way to see it is to build it. Like every artist, every true artist, we create them for us.”

(1935 – 2009)

Directions to Fox Playground

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