Silver Towers Playground/Tom Otterness Playground

Last week as I watched the streetscape speed by out the window of a taxi on my way to work, I happened to spot what looked like one of the most amazing play structures I had ever seen tucked into a small public park between two buildings on 42nd Street. A quick Google search revealed that the play sculpture was referred to as the Silver Towers Playground or Tom Otterness Playground, and I made a mental note to come back with my daughter as soon as possible to check it out.

This past weekend we stopped by and I couldn’t help but smile the entire time we were there. The whimsical sculpture’s legs and one arm are giant slides, there’s a lookout perch around the neck and shoulders, and numerous little tiny sculptures are hidden and incorporated in and around the larger structure. Older children can likely shimmy up the sculpture’s left arm and and even older toddlers can climb right into the outstretched left palm. The slides are fast and raised a good bit off the ground at the bottom, and my daughter delighted in shooting off the ends and trying to ‘stick the landing!’ as she said. The height and general design of the sculpture means it’s better suited to slightly older children (a plaque indicates ages 5-12, though my daughter, who is nearly 3, seemed comfortable on it with close supervision), and there’s a more conventional piece of play equipment for toddlers directly adjacent in the same plaza.

If you’re hungry after playing, a number of excellent dining options, including an outpost of my favorite Ample Hills Creamery ice cream, can be found a few blocks away at Gotham West Market on 11th Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets, a food hall with plenty of seating, restrooms, and a fun photo booth. If you’d like to check out more of Otterness’s work, keep your eyes peeled in the 14th Street subway station served by the A, C, E, and L trains where his piece Life Underground is permanently installed as part of the Transit Authority’s Arts & Design program.


Comments (3)

February 8, 2017

That is so incredible… my 7yr old son is watching over my shoulder and says… sigh, we have to go there!!!

April 24, 2017

Hi, Is there a restroom at the playground?

Shannon in NYC
May 11, 2017

Hi Karen! There aren’t restrooms on site at the playground as it’s tucked away between residential towers. We always use the restrooms at Gotham West Market, a few blocks away.

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