Levin Playground

The landscape immediately surrounding the East 76th Street Playground is similar to the Dene landscape just to the south: It is hilly and shaded by many large trees. As a result, the playground seems somewhat secluded and enclosed, despite being in a busy area. The playground was built between 1935 and 1936 as part of the perimeter playground system. In the 1970s, the play equipment was replaced, and in 1986, the playground was completely reconstructed. As part of this work, the Sophie Loeb Fountain was moved from its original location near the Heckscher Playground and adapted from an ornamental drinking fountain to a water-spray feature. In 1996, the playground was renovated; new equipment was installed and safety surfacing replaced. The playground was completely reconstructed in 2010. The reconstruction increased the accessibility and diversity of play elements while maintaining the spacious, unprogrammed feel of the playground.

Reconstruction Highlights

• The Sophie Loeb fountain was repaired, and the water spray was redirected away from the fountain to help preserve it and provide a safer and ground-accessible spray feature.
• New equipment was added for toddlers, the primary users of the playground.
• The toddler swing area was enlarged, the swings replaced, and a new, ADA-accessible swing was added.
• The entire playground was re-graded and repaved to provide ADA-accessible routes throughout.
• New plantings were added around, and within, the playground.