This playground is named in honor of the singer and songwriter Harry Chapin (1942-1981).
Born in New York City, Chapin grew up in Brooklyn Heights, and he and his brothers often played in this very park. Chapin studied at the Air Force Academy and at Cornell University, and later worked in theater and film. He and his wife, Sandra Gaston, had five children. Chapin’s best-known songs include “Taxi” and “Cat’s in the Cradle.” Chapin worked to eliminate world hunger; his efforts included lobbying Congress on behalf of President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on World Hunger. He gave more than 100 benefit concerts a year, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for charitable, environmental, and political causes. Chapin’s life was cut short in 1981, when he was killed in a car accident on the Long Island Expressway. He was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal.