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Gansevoort Park (Corporal John Seravalli Playground)

Gansevoort Park (Corporal John Seravalli Playground)

Hudson St and Horatio St New York, NY,

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Completely renovated in 2011 Opened in the early 1960's, this playground featured full and half-size basketball courts, a baseball diamond, and a children's play area with a sand box, swings, baby swings, a slide, and four see-saws. As the hands and feet of small Villagers first made their marks in the sand, members of the 60's generation were sent to tread unknown ground in the Vietnam War. Corporal John A. Seravalli, "a youth of the neighborhood," fell on February 28, 1967, in South Vietnam. His father, a member of the American Legion, asked that the City Council rename the playground in memory of the corporal. While Community Board 2 wanted to rename the playground in a way which would recognize all fallen soldiers from the Village, perhaps "Memorial Playground," the City Council approved the family's petition. On May 8, 1968, a small bronze plaque was affixed to the brick comfort station, telling of the corporal's death at age 21, and remembering his service in the war. In 1986 the fence surrounding the playground was elevated, to prevent stray baseballs from damaging pedestrians or windows. The playground was renovated in 1992. Two handball courts replaced the see-saws, the children's area was re-centered around climbing apparatus, and picnic tables were installed under the cover of trees. Several generations of children have now enjoyed the playground, which accommodates an ever-increasing residential community. http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/M237

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