Tour of Otterness’ 42nd Street Playground

Playground packs in more fun than the proverbial barrel full of monkeys. Tom Otterness’ anthropomorphic sculpture installation is a space for wonderfalls, a place for children to imagine, to make believe and play.

Back in January I had the opportunity to interview Tom for PlayGroundology’s initial musings on the rich world of playscapes. Tom’s iconic installation is so arresting that I asked him if I could use a photo of Playground in my masthead as well as making it the subject of my first post. Permission granted and PlayGroundology now has a great visual that represents the spirit of the blog.

From the outset, Manhattan’s Bronze Guy has been a popular post. In June of this year it became even more so, as some of the millions from around the world who saw Playground as wallpaper on the Google homepage started looking for more information. It created a spike of visits to Tom’s homepage and to PlayGroundology.

Just recently I came across a video on Youtube that gives a partial tour of the 42nd Street PlayGround Bronze Guy. It has renewed my appetite to be there and play with my kids. I hope you enjoy this short vid as much as I did. Many thanks to Youtuber Jiunyiwu.

All materials, unless otherwise attributed or credited, copyright ⓒ 2010 Alex Smith.

If you’re a non-profit or not-for-profit group, feel free to hyperlink, excerpt, or reproduce the contents of this post. Please reference PlayGroundology. For commercial reproduction of this content, please consult the editor.

2 responses to “Tour of Otterness’ 42nd Street Playground

  1. We are the owner of theh video you posted above and glad to be part of your “PlayGroundology” project! My husband is an architect and I am a city planner by trainning, and both of us have fell in love with playgrounds becuase of my son. Searching for Tom Otterness’ works with him has become our little game in NYC ever since we discovered the “Manhattan’s Bronze Guy”on 42nd St. If you are interested. there are some of Otterness’ installations (but smaller) in Rockefeller Park in Battery Park City, too. We’ll keep you posted if we found more! By the way, there is a great website about NJ playground
    in case you happen to visit this area!


    • Thanks so much for your note. I just love your video. Your son is so sweet meandering about with his discoveries. Tom does have a lot of installations throughout the city. I hope to be able to check them out some day. The one I really want to get to with my kids – before they’re too old to exclaim in wonder – is that big guy on 42nd street. I’m pretty much like you and your husband, I have fallen in love with playgrounds too and it’s my kids who have inspired me. Keep in touch and let me know when you hear any exciting playground news in NYC. I do know Sheila at NJ Playgrounds. She’s doing a great job with her blog. Cheers – Alex


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