New York City has an official retirement home for worn-out playground animals, you know, the ones we used to climb on as kids.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park now has a section set aside for these beloved concrete animals that have seen better days. Called the “Home for Retired Playground Animals,” this space is next to the giant Unisphere and it’s meant to be a contemplative area with plantings where you can see these animals and sit on benches near them.
There are two dolphins, one aardvark, one elephant, one camel and one frog from various NYC parks that children have played and climbed on since the 1980s and ’90s
”At NYC Parks, our civil servants take many forms: not only park workers but also the beloved concrete animals children have been playing on for decades in our playgrounds across the city,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue in a statement. “We’re so excited to unveil this new contemplative space in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, as we send some of our hardest-working employees into retirement in style. We hope that despite their retirement, they will continue to inspire imagination and creativity in parkgoers into the future.”
The ‘retired’ animals were put in parks across NYC under former parks commissioner Henry Stern, who asked designers to incorporate animal art into every new playground in those decades. Some of them, like the frog, were made in-house, but the others were prefabricated. Once these playgrounds were renovated with new and accessible play features, the need for these animals disappeared. Until now, these animals were just thrown out, but starting now, they'll be added to the "retirement home" at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
Scroll down to see more of these sweet animal sculptures wearing party hats for their retirement party that NYC Parks threw this week.