The wooden playground of my youth

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_utpn85k5ndo/S38v5P_J4bI/AAAAAAAAAJw/mw1r8Sd4oxE/s1600/flashbacklogo.jpgWhatever happened to the fun wooden playgrounds of yester-years?

Growing up, just outside my neighborhood we had 2 wooden playgrounds.

The first, was a tall structure with 3 different levels and wooden bridge where the boards would sink a little as you ran across it. It had metal poles and metal slides, 2 sets of swings and then another section with tall plastic structures with holes that we could climb in and play in.

The other playground was built just a short walk next to this one and it was huge (24000 sq ft to be exact)! The majority of it was made out of wood with all sorts of nooks and crannys you could play hide and seek in. It had like 5 different slides of varying height and curvy-ness, an area with swings, several of those wobbly bridges, monkey bars, and an area with old tires to jump through, swing on, and run across. It also had PVC piping in it that went to different parts of the playground, so you could talk to your friends on the other ends! It was pretty fun going to 1 of the 3 or 4 pipes, talking into it and trying to find which one the other person was at!

This was seriously the best playground ever - the thumbnail doesn't do it justice!

I remember spending hours there in the warm evenings and on the weekends it was crawling with kids! Our parents would sit on the benches and read books while we'd have adventures with our friends, using our imaginations to create scenarios and breaking into groups with some of the other kids there.

Here's a few photos of it, from back in the day:

In this one, where I'm probably about 3 or 4 years old in the late 1980s, you can kinda see how the wooden structure was - the whole playground was like that, and to the right, there's some kids swinging on of the forms of monkey bars the playground had. Oh yeah and instead of gravel underneath, it was sand, so it didn't hurt so much when you would fall.

Here's me and my best friends when I was 3 and 4 years old playing on the swings - we all lived on the same block so our parents would often bring us to the playground together. There was one "handicapped" chair swing, but we all thought that was the best swing there, as we were small enough that 2 of us could sit in it at once, and it had a back to it, unlike the other swings, so we could relax a little more and put our feet up on the bar! That wooden structure behind us is where the unisex Port-A-Potty was. It smelled so we rarely used it. And in the background you can see a soccer goal - there was a field just behind the playground, so various local kids teams would come and use it, as it belonged to the park district.

Unfortunately, in the early 90s, some businesswoman bought the property the park was on decided that wouldn't make her money, so she had them tear down our beloved wooden playground - we were all furious and upset too, how dare they tear down our playground! Fortunately, they were able to keep it in pieces and eventually rebuilt it, however it was moved all the way across town, and by that time we were all older. I'll probably take my kids to it someday, just so they too can experience the awesomeness of this old playground!

That woman never did anything with the property either - to this day, it's still vacant with a For Sale - Will Build to Suit to sign that's been there for about 10 years now.

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