Play in the Shadow of the Masonic Temple

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The small playground located at the corner of Sunset Drive and King Street is ideally located at the base of the Masonic Temple, across the street from the Amtrak station, and less than a block from the King Street metro station. This desirable space goes almost completely unused because the equipment is out-of-date and unsafe (exposed nails, no gate to prevent young children from leaving the lot, etc.).

 Not only would an updated playground at this location provide a welcoming sight for tourist families visiting historic Old Town, but it would also give families that live in the neighborhoods west of Commonwealth a more accessible playground. Many of these families currently cross Commonwealth to go to Blue Park, but there is no crosswalk across Commonwealth, making it a real challenge to get across this busy street with strollers and bicycles. There are more than a dozen young children that live on Sunset Drive alone.

Suggested improvements include: a latched gate (no gate currently), a new fence (current fence has gaps large enough for children to crawl through), updated toddler play equipment, added monkey bars (for older children). A train theme would go well with the location!

Sunset Park is good for toddlers/preschoolers. The location is convenient to the King Street Metro and to Union Station, so people can go there while waiting for parents or guests to arrive home to Alexandria. My kids LOVE watching the trains come in from the park, and you know many kids love trains (check out the popularity of Thomas and Friends). The park's view of the Masonic Temple is lovely and inspirational. The park already has bucket swings, but the other apparatus is small and decrepit. There is enough room in the park for new equipment of a larger size. It would be nice to have a piece of equipment that kids could climb up and go down a slide or two. A seesaw would also be great. I don't know what this is called, but at the Fayette & Queen park there is a tilted ring that can be spun around, and kids really seem to enjoy that. Maybe it's a sort of carousel? Sunset Park could also use a gate. It's such a nice big space in such a great location and it could really be a well-used park!

Comments

Sunset Park

An updated park would be much enjoyed by our young granddaughters...just up the street and not across busy Commonwealth to the other nearby play area. What a treat.

Sunset Park

Would be great to see some seating areas installed for parents, equipment organized to separate children of widely different ages, low, moist places filled in under swings, basic landscaping—a great little park where a little can make a difference!

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