Playland often called Rye Playland and also known as Playland Amusement Park, is an amusement park located in Rye, New York, along the Long Island Sound. Built-in 1928, the Westchester County, New York government owns the 280-acre (110 ha) park. Beginning with the 2018 season, Standard Amusements LLC has been contracted to operate the park.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Playland’s waterfront area of Westchester County along the Long Island Sound was the site of a growing collection of recreational developments, including hotels, resorts, and “amusement areas.” Residents are concerned about what a county report described as “unsavory crowds” induced the Westchester County Park Association to purchase two existing theme parks, Rye Beach and Paradise Park, and plan a local-government-sponsored amusement park in their stead. EZ Westchester Junk Removal
Frank Darling, a veteran park manager with experience at Coney Island and the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, was hired to design and run the new park called Playland. The well-known NYC architectural firm Walker & Gillette and landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke were commissioned to produce a comprehensive design of both buildings and grounds, making Playland the first planned amusement park in the country.
Admission to Playland is free for Westchester residents who wish to observe the attractions. However, visitors must pay for a wristband that will give them all-day access to ride all of the attractions. Non-Westchester residents must pay admission to get inside Playland and an additional fee for the wristband. Westchester residents generally also pay a lower price for the wristbands than non-Westchester, NY residents. To keep the cost of each ride low, Westchester County’s government offers sponsorships to businesses in exchange for annual naming rights for a ride and subsidies for concerts, fireworks, and revues.
Walker & Gillette’s asymmetrical beaux-arts plan integrated Playland’s three major components. A swimming park’s first component is defined by a semi-elliptical beach, boardwalk, and arcade. At the center of this arcade, a Spanish Revival bathhouse and pool terminates the automobile approach along Playland Parkway, and its twin towers frame a view of Long Island Sound. The second component, an amusement park, is laid out along an axial landscaped mall at roughly 90 degrees to the Parkway approach. An entrance plaza with a central fountain at the beach end of this axis is defined by corner pavilions and anchored by a casino and ice rink building. The axial mall is flanked by colonnades that visually organize the various rides, games, and restaurants on each outboard side. A midway cross-axis terminates in a gate at the large parking lot’s inland end and a promontory at its waterside end.
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