Central Park - one of the urban wonders of the world – was the first public park built in America. It is a green oasis in the great concrete, high-rise landscape of New York City. The park is so naturally a part of the Manhattan environment that many people may not realize it is entirely man-made. Picnic sites, ballpark, concert hall, theater, the surrogate backyard that is Central Park gives New Yorkers an Arcadian escape from the city’s clamor.
The Park`s six-mile perimeter extends from Eighth Avenue to Fifth Avenue and 59th Street to 110th Street. It consists of 843 acres of rocky, scrubby land in the middle of Manhattan which include 136 acres of woodlands, 250 acres of lawns, and 150 acres of water in seven lakes and ponds.
This man-made park was designed by Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1858. It took 15 years for the completion of the park. The Central Park Conservancy - a private not-for-profit organization founded in 1980 – restores and preserves Central Park, under a contract with the City of New York/Department of Parks and Recreation.
The northern end of the park was the site of a series of fortifications for the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. In 1872, the Belvedere Castle, a viewing pavilion overlooking the Croton Reservoir was added to the park.
In 1934, the Reservoir was filled in to become the Great Lawn. Central Park also houses the Carousel. Originally built in 1871, it was twice destroyed by fire and was replaced by the current brick structure in 1951. There are 51 sculptures in the park of which Bethesda Fountain is the only sculpture included in the original design of the park.
Central Park contains 21 playgrounds, 36 bridges and arches, 58 miles of pedestrian paths, 4.5 miles of bridle trail, 6.5 miles of Park Drive, 7 miles of benche, and more than 26,000 trees, including 1,700 American elms. Over 275 species of migratory birds have been sighted in Central Park, a major stopping point on the Atlantic flyway. The Manhattan schist outcrops in the Park are approximately 450 million years old.
The Alice in Wonderland Statue - the magical bronze statue, Conservatory Garden, Harlem Meer, Obelisk - also known as Cleopatra’s Needle, and The Pool - a stunning lake surrounded by weeping willows are other major attractions of the park. The park is also home to the Central Park Zoo, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and restaurants like the Boathouse and Tavern on the Green.
Central Park personnel conduct various activities such as events, recreation programs, walking tours, education programs, wedding ceremonies, and photography lessons. The park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965 and a New York City Landmark in 1974.
- - - Books You May Like Include: ----
The Central Park Zoo by Joan Scheier.
Countless New Yorkers, as well as visitors from all parts of the world, have experienced an oasis just a few feet off Fifth Avenue in the heart of Man...
A Clearing in the Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century by Witold Rybczynski.
Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) is best remembered today as a landscape designer, well known for his plans for New York's Central Park and Prospect ...
The Cruelest Miles: The Heroic Story of Dogs and Men in a Race Against an Epidemic by Gay Salisbury.
In 1925, a deadly diphtheria epidemic swept through icebound Nome, Alaska. The life-saving serum was a thousand miles away, and a blizzard was brewing...