2015 Merit Award

General Landscape Architecture Design

Playground 123 Phase 1 in Morningside Park

Morningside Heights, Manhattan, New York City

Landscape Architect:

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Capital Projects Division


About the Project:

The new master plan for Playground 123 befits Morningside Park’s status as a scenic landmark. The plan reshapes the rectilinear playground and realigns the perimeter paths to more closely resemble the historic 1887 design of Olmsted and Vaux. Rounder playground edges and gently curving paths fit better with the historic landscape forms of Morningside Park. The West 123rd Street and Morningside Avenue park entrance has been restored and heavily planted, returning it to the luscious green entrance Olmsted and Vaux had envisioned.

The phase 1 reconstruction saw more than half of the harsh-unappealing playground converted into a greener, more sustainable and visually appealing space that provides increased play value for children of all ages and abilities. The improved playground features a children’s overlook, spray shower, basketball court, modern play equipment with accessible ramps, safety surfacing, benches, game tables, picnic tables, plantings, fencing, lighting, and drainage systems.