Building History: Marian Anderson Recreation Center
1911, the world’s very first public recreation centers created were named Happy
Hollow Playground and Starr Garden. These Centers were created for
school-aged kids with no specific goal at mind but with the foundation of these
buildings came opportunities for getting involved for young children. As time
went on the age range for which the building were created for had expanded.
Today there are over 185 recreation centers in Philadelphia alone. Many
buildings named after honorable people. One in particular is an African-
American woman by the name of Marian Adnderson
Marian Anderson, daughter of John and Anna Anderson, had a major role in the history of African American artist. Marian, for those who don’t know was a contralto. Made famous through her singing she performed in concert and recital sometimes doing opera. During the twentieth century, when racial and prejudice views were very well alive, Marian became a figure for African American artists trying to “get in where they fit in” as many artist would put it today. According to lkwdpl.org, Anderson had made many honorable achievements during her lifetime such as becoming the first black artist to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in N.Y,C as well as singing at the March On Washington for jobs and freedom.
Her impact on the world is still remembered today and in membrane of her many things have been created including different awards and buildings one building known as Marian Anderson Recreation Center.
Marian Recreation Center was built in 1954 in honor of Marian Anderson. The building being named after Anderson was destined for greatness. Nobody would understand the pentacles that this facility would reach until it was in its process. The recreation center became home to the first African American baseball team to go on a bond-storming trip. Traveling to 10 states in 13 days the team had the opportunity in first hand discovering how life for African Americans were during The Civil Rights movement. They were buzzing all over Philadelphia. And their proliferating reputation was only at its beginning. Besides sports, in 1993, Marian Anderson Rec. had housed an important meeting pertaining to the building of a strategy to save teachers’ jobs. Today the recreation is home to a boxing ring, batting cages, play ground, baseball/soccer field one indoor as well as outdoor basketball court and a public pool. As many would agree Marian Anderson has a positive role on the south Philadelphia community in keeping the kids off of the streets and into productivity.