Summer Stage Rumsey Playfield


While much of Central Park has remained relatively intact since its creation, Rumsey Playfield has undergone many transformations. Located on a hill overlooking the Concert Ground, the site originally featured a restaurant created by Park co-designer Calvert Vaux, which was known as the Casino. (The restaurant did not host any gambling; the name means “little house” in Italian.). In the 1920s, the modest building had become run-down and was replaced by a more elaborate structure in the Art Deco style that became a well-known, glitzy nightclub. Deemed too elitist by Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, it was razed in 1937 and a playground (named for Mary Harriman Rumsey, a well-known philanthropist and social reformer) created in its place. The Mother Goose statue, which marks the playfield entrance, was added at this time. The playground was not well-used and fell into disrepair. In the 1980s, the Central Park Conservancy converted it into a sports field for older children. SummerStage moved from the Naumburg Bandshell to the Rumsey Playfield in 1990.



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