The unassuming playground located in front of Brookline High School, just off Route 9, is claimed–along with another park on nearby Brookline Avenue–to be the first public playground in America.
In 1871, the town of Brookline paid $45,878.50 to one William B. Craft to buy the land as public space for play–the first time any such transaction had ever taken place in the United States. The town planted 30 maple trees, and in 1880, the Brookline Athletic Club built a track around the perimeter of the field. Today the Cypress Street Park features a pair of baseball diamonds, a basketball court, modern play equipment, and sprinklers that are popular with area children in the summer months.
Few in the area are aware of the site’s historic significance.
Know Before You Go
The playground is located next to the Brookline Hills T stop.