Cayuga park, playground to get facelift

The Cayuga Playground and Clubhouse — known for its hundreds of wooden sculptures — is in dire need of recreational facelift and the surgeons are putting on their gloves.

The 3.89-acre site has clubhouse, a play area, tennis and basketball courts and a grassy soccer field.

But according to the Recreation and Park Department, “The mechanical and electrical systems are original to the building, and are past their useful life. The clubhouse does not contain a fire sprinkler system, nor is it wheelchair-accessible throughout. Storage space is woefully lacking.”

Retired gardener Demetrios Braceros has created more than 300 painted and carved wooden sculptures for the park since 1987, but the Arts Commission assessed that only about half were in fair condition and the rest were in poor condition.

An assessment determined it would be cheaper to demolish and rebuild the 1950s clubhouse rather than to renovate it.

Cayuga is one of several playgrounds slated for makeovers with a voter-approved $185 million Neighborhood Parks Bond.

The commission will hear about the $8.5 million renovation at its meeting Thursday night and possibly approve it.

The report does not indicate what would happen to the wooden sculptures.

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