The Jerusalem Foundation and Jerusalem Municipality will establish a spectacular new Puppet Playground in the northern part of the Koret Liberty Bell Park in the heart of Jerusalem, which will serve all the children of Jerusalem and young visitors.
The new Puppet Playground will include eight royal figure play structures and crown-shaped benches. The children will be able to climb up the two main play structures – a fairytale prince and a princess – and slide down their cape and dress. The sculptures themselves are made of an iron, cement and steel construction, materials meant to ensure durability and easy maintenance for many years to come.
This unique park was made possible thanks to the generous support of the ARK of God Foundation, longstanding friends of the Jerusalem Foundation from the Philippines.
Known also as the Remembrancers, their desire was to finish what their founder and mentor Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong started in Jerusalem more than 30 years ago. They remembered how Mr. Armstrong worked with Mayor Teddy Kollek in supporting the “Children’s Playground” in Liberty Bell Park that was established during America’s bicentennial.
Mr. Armstrong became a close friend to Mayor Kollek who presented a token to him in 1985. Mr. Armstrong reminded Teddy of the key role that Jerusalem plays in world events – “Jerusalem is a city with a very remarkable history more than almost any other city. The Eternal God says that this city is destined to become the greatest city in the world. This city is going to exist forever. It may still undergo some more changes, but it’s going to endure.”
Mr. Armstrong had a clear vision and passion about Jerusalem’s future and to stay true to Mr. Armstrong’s legacy in Jerusalem, the Remembrancers gifted a playground to Jerusalem’s children in 2018, celebrating Israel’s 70th birth as a nation.
Liberty Bell Park has undergone a major upgrade over the past two years: The Train Theater will move to the southern part of the park, following the construction of a new building made possible by the Jerusalem Foundation. The municipal Parks & Gardens Department and the Jerusalem Foundation decided to upgrade the park’s northern flank, alongside Jabotinsky Street.
The Jerusalem Foundation and the municipal Plastic Arts Department representatives selected American-born Jerusalem artist Sue Ela to design abstract and magical play and slide sculptures stimulating children’s imaginations. “Being an important city park, we decided to design an extraordinary playground. Nothing like this exists in Jerusalem”, explains architect Roi Singer, Director of the Jerusalem Foundation’s Planning & Construction Department.
“I was really moved when asked to design a puppet playground,” says the artist Sue Ela to. As a resident of Jerusalem for 50 years, this is a dream come true. I love Jerusalem and always hoped I’d have an opportunity to put my creativity to use in one of the city parks. The main characters will have slides and the smaller figures will provide hiding spaces and backdrops for fun family photo opportunities. The sculpture development process from small models to full size play structures is fantastic.”
Anat Tzur, Director General of the Jerusalem Foundation, explained: “Since its establishment over 50 years ago the Foundation has created dozens of parks and gardens throughout the city. Still today, to our great delight, there are donors who are interested in developing our green open spaces, upgrading existing playgrounds and making them accessible to people with disabilities.”