One of the well-worn dinosaurs at the Anderson Playground that's slated to be replaced in the redesign. Photo by Ann Belser.

The Anderson Playground, which children call the Dinosaur Playground because of its dinosaur-shaped play equipment, is about to get an update. And Pittsburgh’s Department of Public Works wants you to weigh in.

The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works has $1.25 million in funding from the Allegheny Regional Asset District to completely rebuild the playground, which is located in Schenley Park across the Boulevard of the Allies from the pool and near both the Panther Hollow and the Charles Anderson Memorial bridges.

Even with a complete overhaul, Andrea Ketzel, the city’s senior landscape architect, says that the new version of the playground will still retain the popular dinosaur theme.

After meeting with residents and users, Ketzel has developed two versions of the revamped playground with two very different dinosaurs.

There are a few common factors in both playground redesigns. Both would add a path between the playground and the picnic pavilion.

Anderson Playground redesign option 1. Rendering courtesy of Engage PGH.
Anderson Playground redesign option 2. Rendering courtesy of Engage PGH.

Both versions also involve removing some unhealthy trees, resurfacing the pathways and making them more accessible, replacing seating and benches, and installing a new water fountain.

The redesign will separate preschool children from older children and add an area with hammocks for teenagers and college students who also spend time in the playground.

One version would include seats along a retaining wall at the south edge of the playground with backless benches scattered throughout the area. The other would have centralized benches and a tricycle track that would run around the entire playground.

Anderson Playground wooden dinosaur option (color scheme would change). Photo courtesy of Engage PGH.

For play equipment, one version calls for a sculpture of a dinosaur made of black locust wood that could be stained any color. Children would be able to climb into the dinosaur’s mouth and hind legs, walk through its body and slide down the tail.

Anderson Playground rope sculpture option (color scheme would change). Photo courtesy of Engage PGH.

The other dinosaur has a body made of a rope sculpture with the neck and back rendered as suspended bridges accessible through the mouth, along with a slide down the tail.

In addition to the hammocks, which were included in both concepts, the city plans to reinstall swings, an accessible carousel and spinners that can accommodate up to five children.

Wood from the trees removed from the playground are would be used to create benches and to replace the popular round steppers.

The city is conducting an online survey asking residents which layout and which dinosaur
they prefer to be installed.

Ann Belser

Ann Belser is the owner of Print, a newspaper covering Pittsburgh's East End communities. After receiving a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, she moved to Squirrel...