This spacious playground is one of few places for children in the East 20s, and it's a well-used destination for children.
We were headed uptown to Grand Central Terminal when we decided to make a detour for a quick run-around to use up some of that toddler energy. The playground offered a large place to run around, although there were also lots of kids.
There aren't that many playgrounds around Second Avenue and the East 20s– to the south is Stuyvesant Square which is a beautiful garden, but not suitable for off-leash children, and of course Gramercy Park, for which we sadly do not have a key. All that means is this one playground is taking on a lot of real estate, and it shows. It was fairly busy even on a not particularly warm afternoon.
The toddler section was a bit small, and our toddler lost interest in less than a minute. He was more interested in the basketball courts next to it.
He quickly moved onto the larger climbing structure buzzing with lots of other children and plenty of parents standing around. This larger structure was pretty good. The slides had a few puddles, but otherwise it was the vintage structure that is fairly entertaining with ups and downs and bridges.
One thing that wasn't great here was that the playground surface was pretty beaten up, cracked, and uneven. The older rubber mats around the equipment was mostly intact, but the paved areas were in need of repair. That said, there was plenty of open space for free play.
The playground is named for the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and had designed the ten and twenty dollar gold coins.
The playground opened in 1966 and was last renovated in 1996.