Playground in the Park

July 17, 2008 5:13:43 AM PDT
The Smith Mansion and Playground are a lasting gift to the region's childrenIt is the bequest of Richard and Sarah Smith. When the couple's only son died without leaving them an heir, they decided to leave their fortune to create a play center for children.

The facility opened in 1899. It has always been free to children. Today, their bequest funds only a fraction of the operating costs.

The rest, and a $6 million capital campaign, are funded by volunteers and grants. Everything has been updated in the last few years, and a "tot lot" dedicated to the youngest children is planned.

Children age 10 and under are welcome, as long as they're accompanied by an adult. No child is allowed without adult supervision, and no adult is allowed without a child.

Groups and birthday parties should phone ahead to make a reservation.

For more information, or to make a donation to Smith's ongoing work, call 215-765-4325, or visit their website: