Marie Curie Playground

Marie Curie (1867-1934) was a noted scientist and the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in Physics. Born in Warsaw, Poland, Maria Skolodowska-Curie moved to Paris in 1891 to study at the Sorbonne. Soon after, she joined a research laboratory and in 1898, she and her husband Pierre expanded on Henri Becquerel’s discovery of radioactivity, discovering two new elements, Polonium and Radium. This discovery earned Curie her first Nobel Prize, in Physics. She won a second Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911, becoming the first person to earn two such awards. Curie died in France in 1934 from leukemia, thought to be caused by exposure to radiation.

Marie Curie Playground opened September 6, 1956, as a jointly operated playground at J.H.S. 158. Jointly operated playgrounds are under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education and maintained by Parks, so that parklands serve an adjacent school site’s recreational needs as well as the general public. In 1985 the park was renamed for Curie, and later renovations pay tribute to her career: an atom motif is featured in the spray showers, and the hopscotch grid is patterned after a chemistry table. Several plaques also feature Curie’s achievements and quotes.


"Marie Curie Playground," New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, accessed November 16, 2022,