Sol Lain, Henry M. Jackson Playground Projects Now Underway


Sol Lain Playground. East Broadway and Henry streets.

If all goes according to plan, the Lower East Side will have two revitalized parks by next fall. On Friday, Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver attended a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off reconstruction of Sol Lain Playground and Henry M. Jackson Playground. They are the first projects happening in Manhattan as part of the mayor’s $285 million Community Parks Initiative.

The two neglected play areas are located a block apart on Henry Street. They’ve gone untouched for at least two decades. At Sol Lain, the $3.6 million rehabilitation will include separate play areas for different age groups, swings, a spray shower, a high school-sized basketball court, an area for flag football and an educational garden for the local public school, which will come complete with a small cherry orchard.

At Henry M. Jackson Playground, nearly $2 million will be spent on an intermediate-sized basketball court, two junior courts with new hoops and backstops, a mini-running track, a volleyball area, plus benches and picnic tables.

sol lain schematic

NYC Parks Drawing: Sol Lain Playground.

heny m. jackson playground drawing

NYC Parks Drawing: Henry M. Jackson Playground.

On hand for the ceremony last week was Marilou Garcia. Her brother, Eddie Garcia, was the heart and soul of this playground. For many years, until his death in 2010, Garcia ran the Sol Lain Flag Football League and dedicated much of his life to keeping LES kids engaged through youth sports. The field was named in his memory several years ago.

There’s another local connection around the revitalization at Sol Lain Playground. The landscape architect who designed the new park, Catherine Bridges, lives right across the street in the Seward Park Co-op. She’ll be able to look out her window and keep tabs on the construction.

In addition to Garcia and Bridges, the groundbreaking was attended by Council member Rosie Mendez, Assemblywoman Alice Cancel, P.S. 134 principal Daniel Kim and Trever Holland, chair of Community Board 3’s parks committee.

More Lower East Side park improvement projects are on the way. A Parks Department spokesperson tells us that a long-awaited reconstruction of Luther Gulick Park will happen in two phases. The renovation of a comfort station is expected to begin this fall. Landscape renovations are scheduled to start in the fall of 2017.

Seward Park, a winner of the city’s Parks Without Borders Competition, will be receiving millions of dollars in improvements. No groundbreaking date is set for that project as of yet. It’s still in the planning/design phases.

Sol Lain Playground.

Sol Lain Playground.



Groundbreaking For Sol Lain and Henry M. Jackson Playgrounds Friday

henry m. jackson playground

Henry M. Jackson Playground, Henry and Madison streets.

On Friday afternoon, New York City’s parks Commissioner, Mitchell Silver, will be on hand for a groundbreaking ceremony at two Lower East Side parks.

You’ve probably noticed the dirt and heavy machinery at Henry M. Jackson Playground and Sol Lain Playground. As part of the mayor’s Community Parks Initiative. the neglected public spaces are receiving a total of more than $6 million. There was a community visioning process for the revamped spaces, which are supposed to be finished by the end of next summer. You can see the schematic drawings below.

The groundbreaking happens at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.

h/t Council member Rosie Mendez.

Schematic for Sol Lain Playground Reconstruction

heny m. jackson playground drawing


Good Morning!

Henry M. Jackson Playground reconstruction

Thursday, August 11, 2016 | Anna Angelidakis sent along this photo from the Henry M. Jackson Playground (Madison & Henry streets), where a $1.7 million reconstruction project is underway. | Weather: Partly cloudy with afternoon showers and a high of 90. A heat advisory has been posted until 8 p.m. | If you would like to share a neighborhood picture with us, send it to: or tag us on Instagram at #LoDownNY.

Community Visioning For Henry M. Jackson Playground Jan. 7