The David F. Bolger Playspace
Slide, swing, splash, tumble and bounce: every so often the child in all of us needs to get outdoors, let go and just play. Now families and school groups visiting The Ringling have just such a place to gather, the David F. Bolger Playspace, where a tower and slide, basket swings, hand-powered fountains and other novel pieces of equipment promise to deliver good times and gales of laughter.
The David F. Bolger Playspace is part of the Ringling’s mission to inspire, educate and entertain by enhancing the existing landscape through play. As the Museum’s Executive Director Steven High explains, “The creation of this exciting new component to The Ringling experience marks a giant step forward in our on-going development and expansion as a center for art education.” For benefactor David F. Bolger it’s about “knowing that many children and families will benefit from the beautiful playground when they visit the Museum for many years to come.”
The vision of Jane Clark Chermayeff, founder Architecture Playground Equipment (APE) of New York, the Bolger Playspace was inspired by The Ringling’s lush grounds, it's beautiful bayfront and its extraordinary collection of Banyan trees make it the ideal environment for the Playspace.
Ms. Chermayeff, who has held positions at the Smithsonian and the National Endowment for the Arts and who coordinated the MoMa symposium Child in the City of Play, worked together with Peter Heukin, the Director of Major Projects for APE’s German affiliate, Richter Spielgeräte’s. Mr. Heukin, who supervised the design effort, has also served as project lead for a number of award-winning playgrounds including the Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens.
Together, the Bolger Foundation, The Ringling, APE and Richter Spielgeräte have created a play space where young visitors will create forever memories of their visits here.