Robert Bendheim Playground

Project Progress

  • Design
  • Construction
  • Complete Spring 2021

Our renovation of Bendheim Playground will include meeting current safety and accessibility standards, fixing items that are in disrepair, and reviving the landscape character.

Just north of the East Meadow is Robert Bendheim Playground, a play space designed for pre-school and school-age children. The original playground at this location was part of the group of playgrounds constructed along the edges of Central Park in the 1930s under Parks Commissioner Robert Moses.

The playground contains a large central play structure, a traditional sandbox and raised sand tables, swings and bucket swings, and a water spray feature. Several large trees inside and around the playground provide shade and reinforce a connection to the surrounding landscape. The Conservancy reconstructed the playground in 1997 to be universally accessible and added an accessible restroom inside the playground’s entrance in 1999.

In the years since, playground accessibility standards have become more specific. With our upcoming renovation, the Conservancy will ensure that the playground is accessible under current standards and fix overall wear and tear from decades of use.

Our work will include:

  • Regrading and repaving the playground to ensure accessible movement throughout the space
  • Replacing the existing ramped play structure with one that meets current accessibility standards
  • Replacing safety surfacing throughout the playground
  • Refurbishing the sandbox and spiral water spray feature and modernizing the water feature infrastructure
  • Refurbishing site furnishings, such as benches and the playground fence
  • Replacing the playground gate and drinking fountain to meet current accessibility and safety standards
  • Enhancing landscape plantings around the playground

Construction is expected to begin in fall 2020 and will last approximately five months.

Left to right: bird’s-eye view of the playground; sand table; water spray feature
  • Our Process

    Restoring Central Park is a collaborative effort. Our team of historians, planners, landscape architects, and architects work in partnership with the public to preserve the Park’s original ideals while enhancing the experience for today’s visitors.

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