Volume 74, Number 52 | May 04 - 10 , 2005

Villager photos by Talisman Brolin

Children playing in the new Chelsea Waterside Park playground.

Playing is state of the art in Chelsea Waterside Park

Dozens of children shrieking with delight came to climb, swing and rock on the state-of-the-art equipment at the opening last Friday morning of the newly completed Chelsea Waterside Park interactive playground.

The grownups at the long-anticipated playground opening at W. 23rd St. and 11th Ave. included neighborhood parents, teachers from the Hudson Guild, State Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro, Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, officials of the Hudson River Park Trust, state Department of Transportation and city Department of Parks and members of Community Board 4.

It was a day of rejoicing for members of Friends of Hudson River Park and the Chelsea Waterside Park Association, two civic groups long dedicated to the park and instrumental in completing the playground designed by Dona Walcavage and furnished by Kompan, a Danish maker of unique play equipment.

The 2.5-acre Chelsea Waterside Park segment of the Hudson River Park, built by state D.O.T. as part of the West Side Highway reconstruction, was opened in October 2002, but construction of the playground was delayed because there was no funding.

However, the playground moved forward last year with $500,000 in state funds secured by Gottfried and $100,000 donated by Friends of Hudson River Park. The design costs were borne by the state transportation department. Hudson River Park Trust, the state-city agency designing and building the 5-mile-long park between Chambers and 59th Sts., contributed $20,000 toward the cost and managed the project through completion.

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