You are reading

Thomas P. Noonan Playground to Open Tuesday, Two Months Ahead of Schedule

Construction JVB

Photo: QueensPost

April 6, 2015 By Christian Murray

Sunnyside’s kids can now head over to Thomas P. Noonan Playground and play on the swings and slides.

The Parks Dept. completed its $2 million revamp Monday and the playground will be open Tuesday.

The playground has been expanded and now includes two children’s play areas, an upgraded rainbow sprinkler, new climbing areas, new swings, new safety surfaces, and shrubbery.

The whole area has been repaved and has been fenced off to block children from running out onto the street and to separate the playground area from the adult section.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who was at the playground today, took a look at the new play areas and checked out the upgrades. Many parents and children peered over the fence while he was walking through the playground and told him how excited they were that it was reopening tomorrow.

“Yes, finally,” said one young boy to Van Bramer. A mother with a stroller excitedly told Van Bramer: “I will tell all the Sunnymoms,” an online group consisting of many local mothers. She thanked him profusely.

Van Bramer said that the Parks Department initially said the playground would be ready by summer. “I pushed hard for it to reopen as soon as possible so the kids could enjoy it as soon as the weather got nice,” he said. “We are two months ahead of schedule.”

Before upgrade

Before upgrade

Van Bramer, who called for the upgrade in 2012, initially allocated $600,000 to fix the rainbow sprinkler and its surroundings—but the revamp grew into a $2 million project where the playground underwent a complete makeover.

The revamp stemmed from a P.S.199 student who proposed a cleanup day at the park when Van Bramer was visiting the school. On the day of the cleanup, Van Bramer said he noticed the play area was in need of repair.

“I noticed broken and chopped up concrete by the rainbow sprinkler and I realized we had to fix it,” he said. “I imagined little feet running around getting cut up by the surface.”

Van Bramer then took a closer look at the playground in its entirety and realized more work needed to be done.

The Parks Department, based on community feedback, increased the size of the playground, providing room for two sets of play areas instead of the one that was there, Van Bramer said. Today, there is one play area that targets 2-to-5 year olds, while another for 5-to-12 year olds.

To make room for the older-children’s play area, some of the adult benches near the chess & checkers area were removed, Van Bramer said. The playground is separated from the adult area by fencing and shrubbery.

The rainbow sprinkler system has been moved closer to the playground entrance at the corner of Greenpoint Ave. and 43rd Street. The sprinkler has been revamped with the latest fixtures.  There are at least 20 holes that will spray children from multiple directions.

A flagpole has been erected in honor of Thomas P. Noonan, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after the Vietnam War. There will also be a plaque that honors other Sunnyside residents who were killed in Vietnam in the coming months.

The basketball courts will also be resurfaced at the end of summer.

Van Bramer said that the final task will be to upgrade the park house, which includes the bathrooms. He said he is seeking funding to revamp it.


Photo: QueensPost

email the author:


Click for Comments 

I wish they left the park alone and just fix the sprinklers it’scongested the kids are all on top of each other extremely crowded and noisy they brought the playground closer to the residential side which makes no sense whatsoevermade so much room for the swings but the kids that play on the playground really don’t have no place to play I see them falling on top of each other hurting themselves and each other all the time complete chaos terrible Design looks like a zoo


Nothing will be done regarding undesirables using the park. Sunnyside has virtually no patrol car activity. When something terrible happens, there will be gnashing of teeth and pointing of fingers. Perhaps then something might change. At least for a little while.

Kramden's Delicious Marshall

Let’s hope the improvements last longer than the renovated library across the street which is already falling apart.

Sunnyside girl

Stop being so negative. I still remember this park from my childhood- we called it the red park. Then it got all metally and burned my bum in the summer, but I still loved it. I’ve missed it- When i was a teen, i would cut through the park on my way home from the subway, and when mamas empanadas opened up I would bring my food in. The reason this park has gone downhill is because it’s been closed. Once the kids are back, the drunks will find somewhere quieter to veg out.


I read somewhere that its cost upwards of $10mm. Which is ridiculous if its actually true.

Silent majority

Sunnymoms? Oh please! A bunch of housewives poorly dressed that have bad hair and wear mom jeans and push those enormous double strollers around.


“Ahead of Schedule?” What nonsense. The contractors should be investigated for incompetence. The project should have taken a couple of months at most.
And during the severe winter months, the surrounding sidewalks were rarely cleared of snow or ice.


Why did it take this long? Did it cost $500,000?
I really hope they hired someone to keep the drunks and homeless out of this park. It’s for kids not for homeless to take shower or wash their asses. Also I hope they can curb the amount of teens swearing and cussing right next to where small kids play and swing. WTF is hand ball anyway, why can’t teens today play proper sports and games? Get rid of the stupid handball wall and just make them all basketball courts. Lazy kids and their handball games.

New Leadership

Yes. It’s me. I’ve been hired to keep the drunks and homeless out of the park and stand guard to make sure they all get shuffled to the mystical invisible place where drunks and homeless disappear to.


I don’t know what’s worse JVB walking around clueless checking contractors work on a swing set, or the fact that he has to admit he wants to fix a rainbow in a kids playground? Theirs something really scary about this whole picture? This guy is the biggest tool I’ve ever seen.

John Z

About time, this project took way too long! I am glad to see that they did clean it up. Now just to keep it that way as “concerned mom” pointed out, gotta keep the drunks out!


thanks to hipsters and other lowlives for ruining our park and van bramer to. I remember when that park was so fun as kid in 1970’s and now its just full of sunnymoms and lowlives. bring back our old park from before when sunnyside was not like now with so many lowlives and hipsters like in williamsberg and with the babys and strolers and lowlives with to many babys and drunks and hipsters. I like when things when they are like before not like now. like when 7 train had no sign for express or local just conductor yelling. queens is dead now with all the hipsters and new parks and drunk lowlives and brick oven pizza. move back to williamsberg drunk hipster sunnymom lowlives and don’t forget your wine bars and new parks. bring back Sunnyside before everyone moved here. like when it was a farm.

Concerned Mom

As a concerned mom no amount of renovations will suffice while all the neighborhood drunks loiter around, drink, pee and Defecate where our children play. While some of the employees were kind and great with kids others were simply rude and not very kind.

Anonymous visitor

“I imagined little feet running around getting cut up by the surface.”
He’s a good speaker. Doesn’t make the 7 any better or SunnysideYards any worse.
Good to know he had a good night out mingling with his own at Tom’s


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

AG James announces dismantling of Queens-based ghost gun trafficking operation

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday the takedown of a prolific Queens-based gun trafficking crew accused of selling firearms and ammo at an East Elmhurst playground, the Queens Center Mall and other locations around the borough.

James secured a 625-count indictment charging five men for participating in the gun smuggling ring, which involved selling dozens of ghost guns, assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.