By mid-January 2014, in the center of the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s 66-acre campus just south of the Banyan Restaurant, will be a new playspace for children.
“We wanted it at the center of the property to serve as a gathering point so when people come, it makes it intimately more enjoyable for a family to extend their visit here to a full day,” Dwight Currie, associate director of museum programs, says.
New York-based company Architecture Playground Equipment (APE) designed the playspace and was contributed to the museum through a $400,000 grant from philanthropist and Longboat Key resident David F. Bolger.
Bolger visited the museum in 2008, and has since donated $1 million that went to The Bolger Promenade and Campiello.
“Mr. Bolger is a legendary philanthropist,” Currie says. “He has got an incredible record of giving, much of it in the world of health care, but also in the arts and he’s very taken with The Ringling property.”
Bolger has been a part of the planning and creative process and the playspace will be named The David F. Bolger Playspace in his honor.
APE and planner of the playspace, Jane Clark Chermayeff, have had experience designing similar projects, from Europe to South America.
“They are, hands down, the leaders around the world in doing this,” Currie says.
There will be time-tested playground components, such as swings and slides, but the playground equipment will be an intergenerational experience designed to be used by children of all ages (including adults).
Contact Mallory Gnaegy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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