Hours: Open Tuesday through Sunday,
10:00am to 5:00pm (4:00pm in the winter)
Adjacent to Center Drive in Central Park
and a short distance to the east of Playmates
Arch, you will find a large bedrock outcropping
that rises upward which supports the Chess
and Checkers House.
This octagonal red and cream-colored brick
structure was built in 1952 and replaced the
Parks largest and most ornate rustic wood
shelter, which was removed from the site in
the late 1930s.
The bedrock that still exists was called
Kinderberg or "childrens mountain" due to the
former shelter perched on top, which was
used as a recreation area for children.
The current Chess and Checkers House was
funded with a gift from financier
Bernard Baruch. Circling around the
house are benches with 24 tables, which enable
visitors to spend time playing chess or checkers.
Players can bring their own game pieces or
borrow them at the nearby Dairy with a valid
photo i.d. or $20 cash deposit.
During the summer months, many players but
mainly men can be found enjoying a day
outdoors honing their skills.
In 1986, a pergola, with flowered Dutchmans
Pipe vines, was built to provide shade for
players as they spend long hours outdoors
in the hot sun. The pergola also creates a sense
of added dimension to the Chess and Checkers
House as it harmonizes with its surroundings.