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Gowanus Playground Gets Sculptor-Designed 'Lounge Area' Installation

By Leslie Albrecht | September 9, 2015 4:18pm
 Ennis Playground has a new seating and play area designed by sculptor Michael Clyde Johnson.
Gowanus Playground Gets Sculptor-Designed 'Lounge'
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GOWANUS — Feel free to sit on the artwork.

New seating that doubles as a sculpture exhibit was recently installed at Ennis Playground, the Parks Department announced Tuesday.

“This multi-faceted project includes three modular components (patios, benches, and planters), which create additional distinct lounge and play areas within the park,” the Parks Department said in an announcement.

The seats and planters were created by sculptor Michael Clyde Johnson, whose work has also been displayed at Randall's Island Park and at Socrates Sculpture Park. The boxy structure is made out of Western red cedar and Douglas fir plywood. The planters hold switchgrass and big bluestem grass.

The combination "lounge" and sculpture will be on display at Ennis Playground — which is between Second and Third avenues and 11th and 12th streets — until Aug. 31, 2016.

The piece was funded by City Councilman Brad Lander, who partnered with the nonprofits Arts Gowanus and the Old Stone House to bring the arty seating to the small park. It's part of a public art program that also funded a new mural overlooking the Gowanus Canal.

Ennis Playground has gotten more attention from local officials lately.

Lander co-hosted a community meeting in January to get feedback on what locals want to see at the park, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced in July that he was teaming with Lander to provide $650,000 for improvements there.

The Gowanus Alliance briefly considered installing the letters from the Kentile Floors sign at Ennis Playground, but nixed the plan because the playground isn't big enough.