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Lawton Playground

Category: Neighborhood Park
Size: 1.08 acres
Protection: Article 97
Manager: Brookline DPW, Parks and Open Space Division
Location: Lawton Street
Precinct: 9
Inventory Date: 10/27/04, revised 2/1/05
Vicinity: Bisected by Lawton Street; surrounded by multi-unit apartment buildings.

This playground is divided in two by Lawton Street with two areas of almost equal size. The north side is used for court games. The south portion is a playground for young children. The woodland feel of this portion is due to its small-scale, dense plantings and the unique design of the play equipment. The spray pool, located within the perimeter of the northern side, is lined with trees.

Park History:
This property was originally the Highway Department yard. Recreational use began in 1956. The Olmsted firm designed the southern side of the park in the 1960s. The first renovation was done in 1971 and included a spray pool, sand box, and play equipment on the south side and a basketball court on the north side. A path to Gibbs Street was added in 1972. Improvements in 1990 included renovating the spray pool and two new play structures. The Community Development Block Grant funded the rehabilitation of the south side. Another round of improvements was completed in 2007, including new play equipment and plantings with a “fairy woodland” theme, a unique granite gateway designed by the sculptor Murray Dewart, a new seating area and entrance from Thorndike Street, a new basketball court, lawn area, pathways and site furnishings.

The Town acquired 23,459 square feet of the property from Lane in 1940. No deeds exist recording this, but atlas and land plans show this information. Another 20,101 square feet was acquired from Lawton Realty Trust in 1961 for $ 6,250 "for recreational purposes."


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