A guard tower from a maximum security prison might be the last thing you'd expect at a children's playground, but that's exactly the case in Ossining, NY at Louis Engel Waterfront Park.

Many Hudson Valley residents were recently surprised to learn that a relic from the nearby Sing Sing Correctional Facility was repurposed as a playground feature. While a new swing set or monkey bars may have seemed more appropriate, it turns out there's a very special reason for the guard tower's installation.

An old prison guard tower now overlooks a local Ossining, NY park (Google)
An old prison guard tower now overlooks a local Ossining, NY park (Google)
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Prison Guard Tower at Ossining, NY Playground

"Old Sing Sing prison guard tower repurposed to a children's park by the Hudson River in Ossining", read a recent Facebook post with an accompanying photo. Reactions were mixed. "Kinda creepy...", observed one woman. "Disgusting", added another. Still, the positive outweighed the negative, with one Hudson Valley resident saying, "Sheesh - get a life folks. It’s better than putting it in a landfill and spending [money] to build a new tower". No one, however, knew its intended purpose.

The reason for the repurposed prison tower is all about the nearby splash pad (Google/Canva)
The reason for the repurposed prison tower is all about the nearby splash pad (Google/Canva)
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Reason for the Prison Guard Tower at Louis Engel Waterfront Park in Ossining, NY

First, although many commenters believed this was a new addition, the tower has actually been in its new home for many years. Additionally, it contains something very important. Bill Garrison, Superintendent of Recreation & Parks for the village of Ossining shared that the guard tower is used to house the controls that operate the splash pad next to the park. 

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So next time you're in Ossining, make sure to stop by Louis Engel Waterfront Park. When the weather gets warmer, you'll know exactly how the splash pad is being controlled. Or, you can spread some disinformation and scare the park-goers with a threat of faux-incarceration. As one commenter said, "don’t step out of line kiddies or else!!!".

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