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Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse History

How old is Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse?
Smith opened on July 23, 1899. Smith celebrated its 105th Birthday in July 2004.

Why was Smith built?
Smith was built through the vision and generosity of Richard and Sarah Smith, in memory of their son, Stanfield. It was the Smiths' goal to build a safe place in the country where children from the city could come to play, free of charge.
                                      
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2006                                                                                           2003

Who was Richard Smith?
Richard Smith was a wealthy Philadelphian. His family made their fortune in the typesetting business. Richard and his wife Sarah lived in North Philadelphia at Broad and Jefferson Streets.

Who lived in the Playhouse?
The Playhouse was never used as a residence. It was built exclusively as a Playhouse for the children of Philadelphia.

When was the Giant Slide built?
The Giant Slide was added to the Playground in 1905. It is by far the most popular and well-known piece of play equipment at Smith. The Giant Slide was completely rebuilt and reopened in July 2005, a gift from Philadelphian Ida Newman and dedicated in memory of her daughter Ann Newman.

Who owns Smith?
Smith is operated by a trust set up through wills of Richard and Sarah Smith and the non-profit organization Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, Inc. Smith is situated on property owned by the City in Fairmount Park but it is not a governmental agency.

How do I get there?
Please see our directions.

How much does it cost to get in?
As it has always been, Smith is open to the public free of charge, however donations are welcome.

How do I make a donation?
Mail a check to Smith Memorial Playground and Playhouse, East Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA 19121. Or make a donation online using our secure server with Network for Good.

How do I schedule a Birthday Party or Group Visit at Smith?
Please see the Reservations Page