PhILS banner
Agency level banner

Recreation, Department of

[Record group 87]
Agency home page.
Agency Function
The Philadelphia Department of Recreation manages and operates all City recreation facilities, including Veterans Stadium, and public parks and squares not managed by the Fairmount Park Commission. The Department strives to maintain safe, clean, fully functional, and professionally staffed facitlities in order to develop, coordinate, and implement recreational programs and activities. These programs are designed to develop the physical, cultural, artistic, and life skills of the participants of all ages and in all neighborhoods. The Department strives to make programs relevant and accessible to underserved communities, including minorities, women, the economically disadvantaged, and those with special needs. The Department strives to provide a positive alternative to drugs, violence, and crime. It seeks to instill the values of individual pride and giving to the community. In addition, the Department seeks to promote a spirit of cooperation, to build self esteem, to encourage healthy competition, and to develop life-long recreational interest among all its participants.

Agency History
A Department of Recreation was created by an Ordinance of June 8, 1911 with authority to organize and manage all City recreational facilities other than those under the control of the Board of Education and the Fairmount Park Commission. It was administered by a board of seven directors who included the Mayor, five members appointed by him, and the Director of the Department of Public Health and Charities, and had been preceded in 1910 by a Public Playgrounds Committee established by an ordinance of July 27 of that year with similar powers. This Department was abolished in 1920 under the provisions of the Charter of 1919 and its functions transferred to a newly-established Bureau of Recreation in the Department of Public Welfare which continued to exercise them until the re-creation of the Department of Recreation under the terms of the City Charter adopted in 1951. At that time the Fairmount Park Commission was designated a departmental commission of the Department of Recreation, as were the Boards of Trustees of the Atwater Kent Museum, the Betsy Ross House, Camp William Penn, and the Tinicum Wildlife Preserve.

Archival Records
87.1 Annual Reports (1913, 1914, 1940, 1941, 1943-1949, 1952, 1954-1979, 1981-1989)

87.2 Files (1953-1964, 1968)

87.3 Site Plan for the Demolition of Moyamensing Prison (30 August 1967)

87.4 Reports and Publications (1952-1968)

87.5 Recreation Coordination Board. Five-Year Report (1953-1958)

87.6 Atwater Kent Museum. Annual Reports (1991)

87.7 Atwater Kent Museum. Reports and Publications (1994)

87.8 Construction Specifications (1961)

Current Records

Click on a folder or file to return to that level...
PhILS Home
City Agencies
Current Agency Information Sheet. (Text-only version of this page)

Send your comments to
Last updated on November 8, 2000