July 1, 2014 By Christian Murray
The construction work on the eastern portion of John F. Murray Playground has been completed and that section of the park —-along with the rest of it– is now open to the public.
The construction work represented the creation of a new central green as well as a new performance area. The New York City Parks Department spent $1.275 million on the work and the improvements are just part of the major overhaul that Murray Playground has undergone in recent years.
Murray Playground stretches from 11th to 21st Street, and is bounded by 45th Avenue and 45th Road. The park features a baseball/soccer field, handball/ basketball courts, a children’s play area, a dog run and a garden.
However, this project specifically involved the creation of a new central green and a new performance area.
The central green has been lined with 1964 World’s Fair-design benches and surrounded by a walking path constructed using paving stones. Meanwhile, the new performance area provides a stage area and a tiered seating wall.
As part of the project, the Parks Department has planted more trees and shrubs.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer welcomed the new performance space. “It’s a great addition and I am a big supporter of providing outdoor venues where artists can perform,” he said. It makes sense in this community, he said, since “Long Island City is home to so many artists and performers.”
Van Bramer said that many people will enjoy the additional greenery and the landscape improvements. He also noted that Murray Playground has undergone a major overhaul in recent years and that the entire playground has become a “neighborhood jewel.”
Van Bramer said that there will be an official ribbon cutting in about two weeks.