The Park View Playground, 1938.
At last night’s regularly scheduled meeting of ANC 1A, Commissioner Boese introduced a landmark nomination for the Park View Playground. In considering the issue, with 10 commissioners present, ANC 1A voted unanimously to approve the nomination (full nomination here).
The Park View Playground, located on Warder Street between Otis and Princeton Places, NW, was officially established as a permanent community playground in 1921 — making it one of eighteen permanent playgrounds established by 1921. Of these, seven are still active. Improvements in 1932 included a wading pool, tennis court, and a 1 -1/2 story field house based on a Colonial Revival design, but using Tudor Revival-style elements. The main elevation faces the Park View School to the south and the playground was considered an extension of the school property.
The property is also significant for the role Park View Playground played in integrating D.C. recreation facilities. Like schools, District playgrounds were originally segregated. Along with five other playgrounds, Park View was among the first to be considered for integration in 1947 in response to changing demographics within Washington. Park View was not open to all children until 1952, two years prior to the integration of all District playgrounds.
While Park View Playground was not the first, or only, playground to be integrated in D.C. prior to 1954 … it’s role in history is unique.
The landmark nomination, if approved by the Historic Preservation Review Board, will preserve and protect the original 1932 field house. It will also ensure that the playground continues to serve the recreational needs of all children both now and in the future.