The original West Thames Park was known to locals as "Tire Swing Park." As part of the restoration of the Battery Park City neighborhood that was so severely damaged by the events of September 11, 2001, the "New" West Thames Park opened on May 28, 2010.
The families of Battery Park City loved their old park and worked with the Community Board to ensure that the new version kept some of that old feeling. The residents were successful in convincing the Board to install a tire swing.
Within days of the park opening, the tire swing was a source of contention for some after two children bumped their heads while swinging. A "concerned" parent removed the swing on their own without Park approval. The "missing" swing led to the park being dubbed "Tireless Swing Park."
Ultimately the DOT removed the tire swing in June 2010 while a study was commissioned on the safety of the swing. The tire swing was eventually reinstalled in August 2011 after it was deemed safe. It has been enjoyed daily, without incident, since then. And although the tire swing is back we still refer to the park by its new nickname.
The new West Thames Park includes many new or improved park features, starting with the children's playground, which now has 16 pieces of play equipment, compared with two pieces of equipment in the original park. Other new features include a separate children's basketball court, two adult half courts, a toddler lawn area with a shade structure, and a 6,200-square-foot dog run, with separate runs for large and small dogs.
The new playground is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, improving on the old playground, where access to the play equipment was limited by sand. Additional improvements in the playground include water play equipment to help kids stay cool in summer, as well as the replacement of the old tire swing with a new tire swing that is in compliance with New York City codes.