Central Park
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Architect Frederick Law Olmsted
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Location New York, New York   map
Date 1853 to 1878, to present   timeline
Building Type large urban park, landscape architecture
 Construction System dirt, rock, grass, water, masonry, concrete, etc.
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Romantic, Neoclassical, etc.
Notes With Calvert Vaux. The heart and lungs of Manhattan, a wonderful green park of created landscape and scenery right in the middle of New York City.


Photo, exterior, circa 1900

Discussion Central Park Commentary

"In 1884 poet William Cullen Bryant among others began calling for a public park, observing that commerce was devoring great chunks of Manhattan and the population sweeping over the rest...

"During the initial 20 years of construction, 10 million cartloads of dirt were shifted, 4-5 million trees of 632 species and 815 varieties of vines, alpine plants, and hardy perennials were planted, and half a million cubic yards of topsoil were spread over the existing poor soil (some of it recovered from the organic refuse of the garbage dump). Sixty-two miles of ceramic pipe were laid to drain marshy areas and to supply water to lawns where hydrants were installed."

— Carol von Pressentin Wright, Blue Guide New York, 1991 2nd Ed. p404-405.

The Creator's Words

"As there are many modes and means of open-air recreation, so there are many kinds of public pleasure-grounds. The formal promenade or plaza is perhaps the simplest type. Broad gravel-ways well shaded by trees afford pleasant out-of-door halls where crowds may mingle in an easy social life, the value of which is better understood in Southern Europe and in Spanish America than in the United States."

— Frederick Law Olmsted, ArchitectureWeek No. 483, 2010.0721, pC1.1. Originally published in 1895.


Open from dawn to midnight.

Size: 843 acres.


Bounded by 59th Street (Central Park South), 110th Street (Central Park North), Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue (Central Park West).

Sources on Central Park

"How to Create a Park", by Frederick Law Olmsted, ArchitectureWeek No. 483, 2010.0721, pC1.1. (Originally published in 1895.)

"Buildings in the Park", by Thomas Fletcher, an illustrated tour with photos and map, posted at DesignCommunity.com, 2004.0806.

Carol von Pressentin Wright. Blue Guide New York. W.W. Norton & Company, April 2002. ISBN 0393319857. — Available at Amazon.com

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