Herald Square

The Daily Plant : Monday, August 19, 2002


A playground in the Bronx was filled with excited children last Monday, August 12 for the celebration of the new and improved Randall Playground. Located in Castle Hill and situated within the Castle Hill Houses, this $440,000 renovation project is the result of a City Council-funded requirement contract funded by former Council Member Lucy Cruz.

It was another 90-something degree August day in New York City and children, Parks officials, politicians, and neighbors gathered on Randall Avenue between Castle Hill Avenue and Olmstead Avenue to celebrate the new playground. Kids from the Owen Dolen Camp climbed on the new play equipment and a large group of the girls played various jump rope games. Bronx Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski hopped in for a go at the jump rope and gained loud applause and cheers from Parks employees enjoying their boss and the girls who were excited to see an adult jump rope as good as them.

The renovation of the playground included the installation of two new play units, one for children ages 2 to 5 and the other for children ages 5 to 12. The two new play units are equipped with safety surfacing to soften the fall of children. The area was also given new asphalt with pavement games painted onto it, such as Nations and Skelly. There are new swings, for big kids and little ones, too, as well as a new spray shower. It was designed by Parks designer Paul Rube.

Commissioner Lewandowski led the ribbon cutting ceremony and was joined by Tracy McDermott, a representative for Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion Jr. Council Member Ruben Diaz endured the heat along with his son, Assembly Member Ruben Diaz Jr. Francisco Gonzalez, District Manager, and Elba Pena, Chairperson, both of Community Board 9, expressed their enthusiasm for this playground along with the others.

The kids from the Owen Dolen Camp gave attendees a rousing rendition of "It’s a Hard Knock Life" from the musical Annie that included snazzy choreography and great acting. After working up a sweat in their off-off-off-Broadway performance, the kids were able to cool off by being the very first children to run through the new spray shower. Some of the adults at the ribbon cutting admitted that they, too, had the urge to run through the water but decided against it.

Assembly Member Ruben Diaz Jr. spoke of his memories of playing in Randall Playground and what it means to him. Thousands and thousands of children have grown up in the playground that opened in 1960 under the name Castle Hill Playground. The Housing Department transferred jurisdiction of the playground to Parks in 1985, and the name was changed then to Randall Playground.


(Monday, August 28, 1989)


For five years time had stopped at Herald Square. But last Thursday, precisely at noon, Parks set the march of seconds, minutes, and hours in motion again by officially starting the James Gordon Bennett Clock after a three-month restoration.

The clock and it bronze sculptures at Broadway and West 35th Street date back to the turn of the century, when they stood atop the building of the New York Herald, the newspaper that James Gordon Bennett (1795-1872) founded in 1835. They were restored thanks to two generous $40,000 gifts to the City’s Adopt-a-Monument program from the International Herald Tribune and MasterCard International.

"In 1940 the monument was moved to this part of Herald Square, where for the past 49 years it has been pitted by acid rain, pelted by pigeon droppings, defaced by graffiti, eroded by time, and subjected to any number of indignities before being rescued by the Adopt-a-Monument program," said Mayor Koch, who was joined at Herald Square by Lee W. Huebner, Publisher of the International Herald Tribune; Alex W. "Pete" Hart, President of MasterCard International; Commissioner Stern; and official from the Municipal Art Society and the Art Commission.


"We are the sons and daughters of the world they saved.
[Now is our moment] to make common cause with other countries
to ensure a world of peace and prosperity for yet another generation."

Bill Clinton
(b. August 19, 1946)

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