Park View Playground and Field House

The Park View Playground was a significant site of desegregation efforts in DC.

The Park View Playground is most notable for its association with community efforts to end segregation in DC's playgrounds. Although the Park View community was mostly African American by the late 1940s, the legacy of the once all-white neighborhood's segregation remained visible, especially in its playground, which was only open to white children.

As the community pushed to give their children a place to play, the DC Board of Recreation agreed in 1948 to allow Black children to use the playground at certain times, but the playground remained whites-only during school hours. Even as the neighboring elementary school became an African American school, the playground remained partially segregated until 1952, when the Board of Recreation agreed to community demand to desegregate it. Two years later, all DC playgrounds followed suit.

The community activism that eventually led to the desegregation of the Park View Playground played out locally, in other DC neighborhoods, as well as nationally in the years that followed. As the site that initiated the public debate that ultimately led to the end of segregation in DC playgrounds, the Park View Playground is a significant site in DC's civil rights history.

DC Inventory: July 25, 2013
National Register: February 24, 2014



693 Otis Place NW