An abandoned Gowanus playground on 10th Street and Third Avenue could be transformed into a new park for the neighborhood if the Gowanus Alliance has anything to say about it. According to DNAinfo, the former handball court located beneath the subway tracks has been closed off for decades. Now, if the Alliance is successful, the old playground could be brought back to life as a vibrant city park.
Although the space (officially known as Fran Brady Under-The-Tracks Playground) still has some physical signs of its athletic past, the lot was closed by the MTA in the late 1990s and hasn’t seen any activity since. However, people like Paul Basile of the Gowanus Alliance are pushing to put the lot to good use as a community space. “The space presents a unique opportunity,” Basile said. “You ask a lot of the old-timers in the neighborhood and they remember the handball tournaments there. Like the rest of the area, at some point it fell into disrepair. We think it could rebound and serve a greater purpose.”
Basile also pointed out the city’s ongoing love of refurbished abandoned playgrounds such as St. Mary’s Playground in Carroll Gardens. “The city and the state and the MTA spent a lot of money on St. Mary’s, which is also under the tracks, and we don’t see why we shouldn’t get the same treatment on this side of the tracks,” Basile said.
Images via DNAinfo/Leslie Albrecht