Excerpted from a a letter from Park and Recreation Commission

The Town of Needham purchased 3 parcels of land for $12,000 from Mildred Greene for school purposes in 1912.  There is some information indicating that the land was used by the public prior to that, including practice space for the nearby high school (Emery Grover) and a football team.

The Stephen Palmer Elementary School was built in 1914, with a major addition added in 1930.  The remainder of the land was used for play space for the school.  In 1975, the school was closed and the building portion of the parcel was placed under Selectmen’ control.  There were some Town Meeting discussions about demolishing the building but in 1979, a 50 year lease was granted for the building.  The open space portion remained under the control of the School Committee.

In the late 1980s the GFWC Needham Women’s Club received permission from the School Committee for a community built playground. In late 2009 the decision was made to remove the playground structure due to safety concerns, but the actual work wasn’t done until late 2010.

Below are photographs of the original structure.


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