Jackie Robinson Park

Parks Cuts Ribbon On Renovated Bandshell At Jackie Robinson Park

Saturday, September 26, 2009
No. 99

Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe today joined City Council Member Robert Jackson and Assembly Member Herman D. Farrell to cut the ribbon on $2 million in improvements to the Jackie Robinson Park bandshell. Dancers from the Uptown Dance Academy and a jazz quarter performed during the event, in addition to a reading of a poem about Jackie Robinson by local schoolchildren.

“The newly restored bandshell will continue a 75-year tradition of live music and performance in this historic Harlem Park, thanks to a generous funding allocation from City Council Member Robert Jackson,” said Commissioner Benepe. “This elegant performance space has been renovated with all new lighting, stage, dressing rooms and is now ADA accessible. One of the park’s original WPA-era structures, the Jackie Robinson Park bandshell is ready for the spotlight.”

The renovation reconstructed the bandshell, allowing use of the interior dressing rooms, and added new lighting, stage floor, and ADA access. The majority of the funding for the $2 million project was provided by an allocation from Council Member Jackson, with an additional $178,000 allocation from Mayor Bloomberg, and a $250,000 New York State grant.

A park for all seasons, Jackie Robinson Park features ten blocks of recreational amenities and is one of the four Historic Harlem Parks. The park is noted for its strong connection with the community thanks to users who frequent the pool, recreation center, sports fields, and performance area. Within the park is a memorial to all-star athlete Jackie Robinson, who is honored as an inspiration to young people both on and off the field.

The Jackie Robinson Park bandshell and bandshell terrace were constructed in the 1930s, dating to the same time period as the bath house, swimming and diving pools, which were part of the WPA pool program. The bandshell and bandshell terrace (originally dance floor) follow the design characteristics of the Romanesque Revival and Art Moderne style bathhouse, with rounded and curvilinear forms.

The Jackie Robinson Pool and Recreation Center, including the swimming pool, bath house, diving pool, bandshell and dance floor were designated as a New York City landmark in April 2007.

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Directions to Jackie Robinson Park

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