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Thomas Noonan Playground Plans are Unveiled

Photo: QueensPost

April 5, 2012 By Christian Murray

Preliminary plans for the revamp of the Thomas P. Noonan Playground have been released by the New York City Parks Dept. and will include an upgrade to the rainbow sprinkler system, a new play area, safety features and new shrubbery.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who called for the upgrade last year, initially set aside $600,000 to spruce up the rainbow sprinkler and its surroundings—but the revamp grew into a $1.4 million project in response to public feedback.

Last year, Van Bramer called on the public to put forward ideas as to how the playground should be improved. He placed suggestion boxes in the public library and in his council office. “We received 200 responses, tabulated them and discussed them with the [New York City] Parks Department.”

The Parks Department’s plan will increase the size of the playground, providing room for two sets of play areas instead of the one that is there now. There will be one play area that targets 2-to-5 year olds, while the other will be for 5-to-12 year olds. Both play areas will include swings—with the older play area including a small rock climbing area.

To make way for the older-children’s play area, some of the adult benches that are near the chess & checkers area will be removed. There will be greenery, such as shrubs, separating the playground area from the adult/chess area.

The rainbow sprinkler system will be moved closer to the playground entrance at the corner of Greenpoint Ave. and 43rd Street. It is clearly marked on the map.

The plan calls for the rainbow sprinkler to be revamped with the latest fixtures.  “It will be multi-dimensional, where children can be sprayed from many directions,” Van Bramer said. Furthermore, “there will be six holes in the ground where water sprays upward.”

Moreover, the entire playground area will be fenced in—with one entrance in and out of the area at the corner of 43rd and Greenpoint Ave. That existing entrance will be narrowed to cut the risk that kids will dart out onto the street.

Presently, children are able to run out of the park at the 42nd street end exit (on Greenpoint Ave. or 47th Ave)—as well as the main entrance.

A flagpole will be erected in honor of Thomas Noonan, with his name etched in to the granite at the bottom. “When I visited PS199 recently, many children told me they wanted to know more about who he was, so we decided it was important to put up a memorial,” Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer said he is calling on the Parks Dept. to get a plaque placed on the park house wall that provides further information on Noonan, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after being killed in the Vietnam War.

Van Bramer expects construction to begin in the spring of 2013 and anticipates that it will be completed within a year.

Shrubbery will also be planted behind the park house, with new trees toward 47th Ave.

Parks Dept.

Parks Dept.

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I’m so excited for our children to have a new and improved park. When is this going to take place?


Last night at 10:20pm, for the first time in the four years we’ve been living across the street from the park, the police came by and cleared the park out. They used loudspeakers to announce the park was closed and stayed till all were out. I don’t know if the posts on this website had anything to do with it. Either way, sure hope its going to be a nightly event. There was peace and quiet in the park last night!

Vigil Ante

This is great news. hopefully we can keep the drug dealing that goes on atfter dark out of the new park.

Woodside Resident

Once every year, usually in August, the Park’s Department, along with the blessing of the 108th Precinct, issues a permit to
Ebeneezer Baptist Church to take over Noonan Park with their loudspeakers set on full blast mode to annoy and irritate the entire
park, the park’s users, and the surrounding neighborhood from 10:00 A.M. in the morning until past 6:00 P.M. in the evening.

Why is this religious organization allowed to take over a public park, raise its loudspeakers to a rediculously high decibel level
thereby irritating and offending every other religious group in this multi-ethnic and multi-religious neighborhood? How come the
people who issued these permits live in other neighborhoods far away from Noonan Park?

Religion is a wonderful concept; it is the basis of our way of life in whatever religion we chose to worship. There is no possible
reason to have this single church preach and jam its doctrines and beliefs down everyone’s throat in Spanish. It would be
annoying even if it was in English.

mike hunt

now if we can just get rid of the drunken bums and their ringleader – how much does nyc spend monthly on ambulance visits to roll those guys off the pavement and onto a stretcher?


Skillman Park – isn’t that the park that had trouble with drinking and the turf wars over soccer games? I hope the parks commission improves it as it is in a beautiful location.


I agree that it should be closed overnight, both for safety and the noise factor. This is a designated gathering place to make a “drug connection.” You can tell by the sneakers hanging in some of the trees.


I hope the new plans include locking the park after 9pm, or even 10pm. Living across the street from it is a nightmare. Despite the signs saying the park is closed after 8pm, people hang out 24/7 and are incredibly loud. It is impossible to get a good night’s sleep in the neighborhood. The best is when they jump on the metal slide to wake the whole area up. Calls to 311 and 911 do no good. I wouldn’t care if they are in there at night, if they would just keep the noise down.

Sunnyside Dame

I love that sprinkler. I guess I need to take pictures before they ‘upgrade’ it.

Susan (one of two)

SuperWittySmitty–thanks for pointing that out about the existing plaque for Noonan. I’ve only been through that park about 2 or 3 times and didn’t know.


There is already a big plaque there that tells a detailed account of who Noonan was and why we commemorate him. Further information is available across the street, at the library. Do we need to do more?

Money that could be better used elsewhere. I think. But I like this park!


The Skillman Park should have more benches –as it did up through the 1990s. Not just for parents with kids bu,as it used to be, to make a pleasant social gathering place for many of the elderly people in the neighborhood.

Marilyn S.


What are the plans for the Skillman park? I’d love some GRASS. This neighborhood is in desperate need of some public green spaces.

Rick Duro

There are already plans for the park on Skillman, construction is slated to begin in the late Spring/Early Summer.

Susan (one of two)

This sounds nice for the kids in the area! It’s also great that input was obtained from kids and parents–I like that they want to know about the park’s namesake.

More parks

How about skillman park will they ever develop the empty asphalt field. One suggestion is make it all turf and split for full court basketball courts Hopefully skillman is next!


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