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Central Park

Central Park

Central Park was first established in 1857. Throughout its history New Yorkers have struggled to maintain the park’s original naturalistic landscape design while accommodating modern park amenities.

Location: Central Park, New York, NY  |  Google Maps
People: Abraham D. Beame, Elizabeth Blackmar, Arthur Freeman Brinkerhoff, William Cullen Bryant, Andrew Jackson Downing, Russell P. Flower, Henry Frick, Harmon Goldstone, Huntington Hartford, Thomas Hastings, Walter Hoving, Richard Morris Hunt, Ed Koch, John H. Lindsay, Newbold Morris, Robert Moses, Jacob Wrey Mould, Robert Cushman Murphy, Frederick Law Olmsted, Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, John E. Sheehy, Edward Durell Stone, Iphigene Sulzberger, Joseph Urban, Richard Welling, Kate Wollman, Fernando Wood, William B. Van Ingen, Calvert Vaux, Downing Vaux 
Organizations: American Society of Landscape Architects, Central Park Association, Central Park Commission, New York Philharmonic, Lasker Foundation, Metropolitan Opera, Municipal Art Society, Shakespeare in the Park, SummerStage, American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society
Places: American Museum of Natural History, Central Park Zoo, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition
Public Policy: Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City (1978), City Beautiful Movement
Above: Central Park, New York City, bird's-eye view, 1929; Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs division

Central Park offers New Yorkers and visitors alike a bucolic respite that has shaped the City’s history in terms of planning and parks recreation.

The origins of the park emerged as early as the 1840s, when wealthy New Yorkers traveled to Europe and visited the beautiful parks in Paris and London. When they returned home, they recognized New York City lacked these amenities.1 The City’s grid system heavily constricted the possibility for planning large public parks.2

Between the years 1830 and 1850, 15,000 immigrants moved to New York City per year. As the urban landscape of lower Manhattan became overcrowded with immigrants suffering from poor living conditions, the City faced numerous health problems due to the cholera and malaria epidemics caused by the polluted water supply. Wealthy residents saw a public park in New York City as not only a way to elevate its stature to its European predecessors but also as a way to cure the social ills and contribute to the health of immigrant populations. Furthermore, the natural environment promoted healthier activities in contrast to the “unsavory” pastimes that took place among the lower classes in the saloons.3

One of the earliest advocates for the park was Evening Post editor William Cullen Bryant. It was his idea to build a park on the Jones Wood property along the East River between 68th and 77th Streets. Prominent landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing also advocated for the creation of a public park but argued in favor of a central location close to the Croton Water Works reservoir between 59th and 106th Streets, and Fifth and Eighth Avenues.4 Since the geography of this area consisted of swamps and rocky outcrops, it was considered too treacherous for residential development.

Despite the construction challenges, several groups, including Irish pig farmers and German gardeners who built houses, hospitals, and orphan asylums, already inhabited the area. The Catholic Convent Sisters of Charity erected a hospital on 105th Street and Fifth Avenue, which would later be converted to a restaurant. As early as the 1820s, the Seneca Village, an early independent enclave of free African Americans, constructed three churches and a school located at 82nd Street and Eighth Avenue.5 Nevertheless, this was the location city officials had agreed upon for Central Park.

In 1853, the City of New York exercised the power of eminent domain, and displaced over 1,600 people to acquire 700 acres of the land between Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue and 59th Street and 106th Street. The park would later extend north to 110th Street in 1863.

The Central Park Commission, a board of state representatives, was created to regulate the park in order to prevent local control by the Tammany Hall majority.6 The park would revert back to local control in 1870 under the new city charter.

In 1857, the Central Park Commission held a contest for the design of Central Park. The Greensward Plan put forth by the park’s superintendent Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux (a British architect and former partner of Andrew Jackson Downing), won the contest. The plan was heavily influenced by the pastoral romantic landscape style popularized in England.7 This style was in stark contrast to the geometric shaped topiary pervasive in European pleasure gardens in the early 1800s.8 Olmsted was heavily influenced by British landscape architect Capability Brown, whose parks were characterized by sinuous paths that harmoniously complemented the surrounding landscape.9 Olmsted implemented these features in the Greensward Plan with the design of curvilinear paths, amorphous shaped bodies of water, pastoral meadows, and majestic oaks, elms, and maple woods.

On a philosophical level, the design of the park reflected the relationship between man and nature that the industrialized city had infringed upon.10 The Greensward Plan reflected the zeitgeist of this period with the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s teachings of Transcendentalism.

Construction for the park began during the financial panic of 1857. Mayor Fernando Wood used the opportunity to provide over 20,000 jobs for Irish and German immigrants and native-born New Yorkers in order to secure votes. The construction of Central Park was daunting due to the harsh conditions of the geography. Over 500,000 cubic feet of soil had to be removed in order to plant 270,000 trees.11 Large boulders were removed using more gunpowder than was fired at the Battle of Gettysburg. Thirty-six bridges and arches were built along with six man-made bodies of water.

The Greensward Plan also featured a series of circulation routes that in hindsight eased traffic flow without dominating the park.12 Olmsted and Vaux sank four transverse roads eight feet below the Park’s surface to allow for the separation of footpaths, bridle paths, carriage drives, and waterways.

The park first opened in the winter of 1859, and New Yorkers came to ice skate on the frozen ponds. By 1865 the park attracted over seven million visitors a year.

Despite the motivation to create a park for all classes, the park largely attracted upper class residents who lived in the vicinity of the park. The strict rules against picnics and recreational activities, including a ban on baseball, dissuaded many of the lower class immigrants from visiting the park.13 The working class voiced their dissent and campaigned for Sunday events, including concerts. By the turn of the century, the rules were loosened to permit outdoor activities including tennis on the open lawns.

The Central Park Commission also felt the park should serve as an educational and cultural epicenter for the city.14 During the initial phases of the park’s creation, they advocated for several museums and a zoo to be built in the park. The Greensward Plan, however, had not allowed for the construction of major buildings inside the park because Olmsted and Vaux felt that buildings should complement rather than dominate the park in order to maintain an emphasis on the natural landscape. It was decided that two museums would be built on the edge of the park’s boundaries: the American Museum of Natural History, built in 1877 on the west side of the park, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, built on the east side of the park starting in 1874. Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould designed both museums in the Victorian Gothic style. The Central Park Zoo opened in 1871 as one the park’s most popular attractions.

The Great Depression ultimately changed the park’s landscape due to the lack of resources and enforcement to maintain its verdant beauty. In 1933, Mayor La Guardia consolidated the maintenance of all five public parks departments, and appointed Robert Moses as Parks Commissioner.15 Moses had an integral role in cleaning up the park and fundamentally altering its landscape with new amenities. He built 20 playgrounds, the Wollman skating rink, athletic fields, and renovated the zoo. In addition, he raised funds for the construction of a carousel and erection of the Alice in Wonderland and Hans Christian Anderson sculptures.

In the 1960s, cultural events began taking place in the park: Shakespeare in the Park, the New York Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera all held summer performances.16 The park also became the grounds for political marches, peace demonstrations, and festivals. All of these events eventually took a toll on the park’s landscape.

The 1970s fiscal crisis signaled the deterioration of Central Park. Due to the draining of New York City’s economy, the funds to maintain the park were null. Robert Moses’s resignation as Parks Commissioner also influenced the park’s general decline.17 The park attracted crime and drug traffic near Bethesda Fountain. The dilapidation of the once verdant oasis in the city promulgated environmentalists and preservationists to campaign for its restoration.

In 1980, the Central Park Conservancy was founded to restore the park back to its original grandeur, which the Greensward Plan embodied. The Conservancy worked with the City to secure the necessary funding to rehabilitate the park.18 They started with the restoration of the Dairy, the Sheep’s Meadow, and the Bethesda Fountain. By 1990, the Conservancy had successfully secured funding and largely restored Central Park. Thanks to the Conservancy’s rehabilitation, the legacy of Central Park’s creators can still be seen today.

Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1963, placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, and designated a New York City Scenic Landmark in 1974. Currently, Central Park offers a plethora of activities and is equipped with tennis courts, ball fields, a public swimming pool, two ice skating rinks, and a running path. In addition, there are a number of popular cultural events that take place during the summer in Central Park including Shakespeare in the Park and SummerStage performances. The Central Park Conservancy also sponsors walking tours and other educational activities. The Central Park Zoo continues to be a popular attraction. Tavern on the Green and the Boathouse Restaurant are also popular dining locations for visitors.

1857: Central Park is created

1892: Senator Plunkitt repeals a law Governor Russell P. Flower had previously signed to permit a 70-foot wide racetrack on the west side of Central Park due to overwhelming public dissent

1912: The Board of Estimate votes against the demolition of the Arsenal in Central Park, thwarting steel magnate Henry Frick’s proposed plan to relocate the Lenox Library, designed by Richard Morris Hunt, to Central Park

December 1925: The efforts to alter Central Park with the plans of Carrère and Hastings in 1917 and 1923 led to the formation of the Central Park Association in order to preserve the original layout and design of the park.

April 17, 1956: In a highly public event, mothers congregate to protest the construction of the Tavern on the Green expansion and parking lot after they were awakened by the sound of a bulldozer in Central Park. They later sought an injunction against Robert Moses.

July 17, 1956: Robert Moses backs down and agreed to rebuild the playground

1963: Walter Hoving of Tiffany and Company files a lawsuit delaying construction of the Hartford Huntington Café. When John H. Lindsay is elected Mayor of New York City, the plans to build this café in Central Park are eventually dropped.

May 23, 1963: Central Park is designated a National Historic Landmark

1966: Central Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

April 16, 1974: Central Park is designated a New York City Scenic Landmark

1975: The fiscal crisis officially hits the City of New York, putting a halt to all plans for parks restoration

1975: Central Park is placed on the National Register of Historic Places

December 1980: Mayor Koch announces the creation of the Central Park Conservancy, which would serve as a fundraising group of private and city officials. This public-private partnership was fundamental for raising money to rehabilitate Central Park.

March 2, 2007: The Central Park Conservancy reopened Bethesda Terrace after a major restoration

The preservation of Central Park is linked to several social movements in the early part of the 20th Century. The City Beautiful Movement, inspired by the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, influenced planning in New York City. The Beaux-Arts style, dramatic linear promenades, classical monuments, and diagonal avenues characterized this movement; it furthermore exemplified that a city could be beautiful.19 In terms of Central Park, civic organizers, architects, and artists proposed plans to change portions of the park to reflect the pervasive Beaux-Arts style. Concurrent to these efforts was the Progressive movement, reflecting the idea that parks were to function for recreational purposes for the lower classes.

At the turn of the century, New York City lacked public parks with recreational facilities. In addition, there were limitations imposed against recreational activities in Central Park. Pitted against both groups were the Park's preservationists who advocated for the retention and maintenance of the original Greensward Plan. Ultimately, the changing times of the modern city brought to the surface the fundamental ideas behind the creation of public parks: who they are used by and for what purpose. The culmination of these movements would signal a rejuvenation of Olmsted and Vaux's original vision when the Central Park Conservancy was created to rehabilitate the park to its original grandeur.

Since the beginning of Central Park's history, people sought to tamper with Olmsted and Vaux's plans. One of the earliest preservation battles emerged in 1892 when Governor Russell P. Flower signed legislation to permit a 70-foot wide racetrack on the west side of Central Park.20 Richard Welling, who would become one of the park's earliest preservationists, filed a lawsuit that delayed construction. He organized a meeting at Cooper Union to galvanize community opposition to the proposed racetrack - 15,000 New Yorkers signed a petition to repeal the law. The New York Times played a key role in the battle by raising $9,000 to fund the campaign.21 Three days later, Senator Plunkitt repealed the law due to overwhelming public dissent.

In 1911, steel magnate Henry Frick proposed to relocate the Lenox Library, designed by Richard Morris Hunt, to the park. The Municipal Art Society heavily advocated for the relocation of the building because its design reflected the changing styles of the City Beautiful Movement.22 The location was assigned to the Arsenal building, which predated the park’s construction and was used as the headquarters for the parks department. Although the design of the Arsenal was not nearly as refined as Hunt's Lenox Library, preservationists including Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. felt that "the Lenox Library Building would detract from the Park's general usefulness to the people."23 The Board of Estimate thwarted these plans when they voted against the demolition of the Arsenal.

The plans for changing the lower reservoir signaled the convergence of the City Beautiful Movement with the recreational movement. The changes reflected both the modern needs of working class children and the popularization of the Beaux-Arts style. In 1917, the Catskill Aqueduct Celebration Committee commissioned Thomas Hastings of Carrère and Hastings (architects of the New York Public Library) to erect a memorial in the Lower Reservoir, which was the original location of the Croton Reservoir. Hastings’s plans including a Beaux-Arts styled garden, and a monument to commemorate the Catskill Aqueduct Celebration. Landscape artist and park’s preservationist William B. Van Ingen heavily criticized the design because the formal garden and memorial contrasted with the naturalistic design of the park. World War I put a temporary halt to the plans. In 1923, Hastings put forth another design for the Lower Reservoir that included a World War I monument, a 20-acre pool, running tracks, and playgrounds.24 The plan hoped to serve both civic activists and the growing needs of the public.

The efforts to alter Central Park led to the formation of the Central Park Association (CPA) in December of 1925. The mission of the association was "the preservation and rehabilitation of Central Park in accordance with its original design as the greatest single work of art in the city of New York."25 The association comprised members from the real estate community, several lawyers, and landscape architects who all had a stake in preserving the park. Since the area surrounding the park became heavily developed with hotels and apartments offering magnificent views of the park, the real estate community felt the park needed to be maintained in order to increase property values. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), founded in 1899 and including as members Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. and Downing Vaux (son of Calvert Vaux), were also supporters of the Central Park Association. During this time a major effort to compile Olmsted's Central Park papers was launched by Olmsted's son Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.; these papers essentially serve as the blueprint for maintaining the park's history.

In June 1930, the ASLA proposed a new design for the Lower Reservoir that would preserve the landscape and provide recreational facilities.26 Arthur Freeman Brinkerhoff, landscape architect and MAS board member, designed the new plan that consisted of filling in the reservoir as a "Great Lawn" and constructing two small playgrounds conspicuously hidden within the landscape's foliage.27 The design proposal was met with overwhelming support from both the real estate community and the [parks association] in addition to being approved by the Art Commission. The Great Depression, however, put a halt to the work on the reservoir because the City lacked the financial resources to complete the project. As economic uncertainties escalated and unemployment rose, the empty reservoir soon became the home for a series of shanty villages also known as "Hoovervilles."28

In 1933, Mayor LaGuardia appointed Robert Moses as Parks Commissioner. His initial changes were met with the support of both preservationists and Progressive Movement supporters. One of the first acts he performed in Central Park was facilitating the ASLA plan for the reservoir, which former Parks Commissioner John E. Sheehy threatened to alter.29 His compliance in keeping with the original Lower Reservoir plan secured ties with the preservation community.30 These ties would dramatically alter the park in years to come. Although the parks preservationists felt they had an ally in the newly appointed parks commissioner, they had yet to realize that Moses's agenda aligned with the idea that parks should strictly function for recreational purposes.

Robert Moses's role in Central Park was complicated. In the following years, he engaged in several large-scale projects that fundamentally altered the park's historic landscape. Yet he also secured federal funding for these projects, provided jobs for the unemployed, set order to the deteriorating landscape, and provided recreational facilities for all classes. During his first year in office, he employed 30,000-60,000 workers. Over the following years, 20 playgrounds were built, the Central Park Zoo was renovated, and formal baseball diamonds were built on the North Meadow.31 In the early years, preservationists were quiet because he had helped protect the Lower Reservoir. Nevertheless, the park's alterations would soon spark debate among visitors and preservationists about the function of the park. Was Central Park to be retained as a work of art or was it to provide recreational facilities for the public? Several of the proposed alterations would not pass without a battle cry from the park's preservationists.

The Central Park Casino's original building, designed by Calvert Vaux, was intended to be a place for refreshments. In the 1920s, it became a prime nightclub for wealthy socialites. Theater designer and architect of the Hearst Building (1928) Joseph Urban was commissioned to redesign the interior. After the stock market crash, Mayor LaGuardia asserted the building symbolized the decadence of the 1920s and "Tammany Corruption."32 When Robert Moses demolished the Central Park Casino preservationists were not necessarily opposed to the demolition but more concerned with preserving the scenic landscape. Moses replaced the building with a playground laid out on a concrete pad, while parks preservationists recommended the re-landscaping of the area. Iphigene Sulzberger, then president of the Central Park Association, suggested a better alternative would be to place playgrounds on the edge of the park instead so as not to detract from the naturalistic landscape, but Moses did not take her recommendations seriously.33

One of the earliest voices of dissent in response to Robert Moses's plans came from art critic Lewis Mumford. In 1949 Kate Wollman, daughter of a wealthy stockbroker, donated $600,000 to the park for the construction of an ice skating rink. Mumford criticized Moses’s plans for the location of the skating rink, asserting that the area was “one of Frederick Law Olmsted’s happiest pieces of the naturalistic landscape."34 Mumford would continue his dissent of Moses's alterations to the park citing that the new designs were in opposition to the naturalistic style originally intended for the park. Yet Moses contended that his alterations followed the original plan while "meet[ing] the demands of the city growth."35

Another location in the park that Moses planned to irrevocably alter was the dense maze of meandering paths through rocky outcrops and lush vegetation known as "The Ramble." One of the first portions of the park, Olmsted intended to create a dense area for visitors to lose themselves within a naturalistic environment.36 Over 270 bird species have been observed in the Ramble. On May 30, 1955, Robert Moses announced plans to build a recreational center for senior citizens on a 14-acre tract within the Ramble. Moses also proposed to alter the Ramble's paths in order to build several outdoor recreational facilities, including a shuffleboard court and a croquet pad. The Lasker Foundation had donated $250,000 for the senior citizen center. The proposal sparked opposition from Robert Cushman Murphy, former curator at the American Museum of Natural History's Department of Birds. The Ramble, he argued, was "one of the park's most important bird sanctuaries," which the new facility threatened to destroy.37 The Municipal Art Society also opposed the recreational facilities, and advocated for a rehabilitation of the Ramble. Due to the mounting public opposition, the Lasker Foundation withdrew funds for the construction.

Robert Moses's next project sought to alter the landscape of the park and eliminate an important recreational area for children on the Upper West Side. In January of 1956, Robert Moses proposed to expand the Tavern on the Green and to build an 80-car parking lot in an area where Upper West Side mothers often took their children to play.38 By April of 1956, several mothers noticed a group of men with blueprints for the proposed parking lot and restaurant expansion. Once residents caught wind of the Tavern on the Green expansion and parking lot proposal, petitions were launched to prevent Moses's plans. On the morning of April 17, 1956 several mothers were awakened by the sound of a bulldozer. In a highly public event, the mothers congregated on the premise to protest the construction. They later sought an injunction against Moses.39 By July 17, 1956 Moses backed down and agreed to rebuild the playground. In hindsight, this was the first time Moses's perception was damaged in the public eye.40

It was the proposal of the two-story Huntington Hartford Café in the park that was the seminal event that finally galvanized the preservationists in opposition to Robert Moses's unyielding control of the park. Although Moses officially resigned as Parks Commissioner in 1960, he had considerable influence on the new commissioner, Newbold Morris.41 On March 14, 1960, the City approved plans to build a two-story cafe on the southeast corner of Central Park funded by Huntington Hartford (heir of the A&P supermarket fortune) and designed by Edward Durell Stone. Robert Moses had suggested the idea of a café to Huntington Hartford.42

The opposition to the café was an effective attempt to thwart plans that would alter the park. The Municipal Art Society, American Scenic and Historic Preservation Society, and the Citizens Union banded together to prevent the café's construction. Harmon Goldstone, then president of the Municipal Art Society, spearheaded the campaign.43 The café’s modern designs, overhangs, walls of sliding glass, and sheer size threatened to alter the scenic landscape. Walter Hoving of Tiffany and Company dissented the designs, arguing that it would “’cheapen’ the neighborhood."44 The Board of Estimate, however, felt differently and approved the designs. In 1963, Hoving filed a lawsuit delaying construction of the café.45 The Municipal Art Society contributed funds and legal assistance for the case, and advocated for rehabilitating the Bethesada Terrace Café instead.46 When John H. Lindsay was elected mayor, he campaigned against the Huntington Hartford Café. In a meeting with Huntington Hartford, the plans for the café were eventually dropped, and Lindsay returned the funds to Hartford. On May 23, 1963, Central Park was designated a National Historic Landmark and in 1966 the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The 1970s fiscal crisis signaled the height of Central Park’s deterioration. Culminating with massive anti-war demonstrations, festivals, and concerts on the Great Lawn, the park’s facilities and landscape were in dire need of renovation. The park attracted homeless people, drug dealers, and crime. Bethesda Fountain became caked in graffiti as well as a center for drug trafficking. At the end of the Lindsay administration, the Board of Estimate had approved a $7 million dollar rehabilitation fund for the park. When Brooklyn comptroller Abraham D. Beame was elected mayor, he reduced the Central Park fund in order to provide funds for the rest of the five boroughs.47 In 1975, the fiscal crisis officially hit the city putting a halt to all plans for parks restoration.

In December 1980, Mayor Koch announced the creation of the Central Park Conservancy, which would serve as a fundraising group of private and city officials. This public-private partnership was fundamental for raising money to rehabilitate the park. Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, a parks preservationist who had written books and articles on parks and Frederick Law Olmsted, was appointed the administrator of the conservancy. Barlow was an Olmsted devotee: “our purpose is to sustain the ingenious designs of Olmsted...responsive to the people’s current needs."48
The resurgence of Olmsted's vision reflects the overall social fervor of the historic preservation and environmental movements in the 1970s and 1980s. Historian Elizabeth Blackmar argues that Frederick Law Olmsted was considered the father of the environmentalist movement, which gained momentum in the 1970s after the first Earth Day festival.49

The preservation movement was also experiencing success with the landmark Supreme Court ruling of Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City that demonstrated the legal justification of protecting historic structures. In addition, the 1973 amendments further strengthened the New York City Landmarks Law by allowing for scenic landmark designations, interior designations, and the elimination of the moratorium for calendaring designation hearings. In 1974, Central Park was designated the first scenic landmark in New York City. Elizabeth Barlow Rogers's plans to rehabilitate Central Park included restoring the Greensward Plan and reversing some of Robert Moses's alterations to the park. Landscape architects conducted a three-year survey investigating the years of damage to the park, including soil analysis and traffic patterns. The restoration of Central Park did not seek to destroy all the playgrounds built in the early part of the century. The goal was to bring back the original design in harmony with the recreational facilities.

Rogers may have been criticized by some of the stricter preservationists, but she effectively preserved the important landscape features of Central Park while recognizing the park could still function for modern uses.50 The initial phases of the Central Park restoration began with the Sheep's Meadow, Bethesda Terrace, and Belvedere Castle. The Conservancy removed graffiti, restored playgrounds, replanted elms, and completed a massive restoration of the Great Lawn. On March 2, 2007, the Conservancy reopened Bethesda Terrace after a major restoration.51 Over 14,000 tile panels from the arcade were removed, washed, and repaired. Today the Conservancy has funded 85% of the $27 million annual operating budget of Central Park.52 As a result of the Conservancy's relentless efforts, Central Park once again serves as a verdant respite for visitors as Olmsted and Vaux had originally intended.

  • Central Park: A Research Guide, created by the Central Park Conservancy (2016)

  • Department of Parks Papers (including original plans and correspondence), 1850-1960
    Municipal Archives
    31 Chambers Street Room 103
    New York, NY 10007

  • The Papers of Frederick Law Olmsted: Volume III: Creating Central Park, 1857-1861. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1983.

  • Oral History with Anthony M. Tung
  • New York Preservation Archive Project
  • 174 East 80th Street
  • New York, NY 10075
  • Tel: (212) 988-8379
  • Email: [email protected]
  1. 
Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and The People: A History of Central Park (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), page 15.
  2. 
Central Park Designation Report, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, 16 April 1974.
  3. 
Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and The People: A History of Central Park (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), Chapter 1.
  4. 
Central Park Designation Report, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, 16 April 1974.
  5. 
Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and The People: A History of Central Park (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), pages 65-73.
  6. 
Ibid, page 97.
  7. 
Central Park Designation Report, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, 16 April 1974.
  8. 
Ibid.
  9. 
Ibid.
  10. 
Ibid.
  11. Central Park History,” Central Park Conservancy. Article retrieved July 2009.
  12. 
Ibid.
  13. Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and The People: A History of Central Park (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992),
 page 249.
  14. 
Ibid, Chapter 13.
  15. “Central Park History,” Central Park Conservancy. Article retrieved July 2009.
  16. 
Ibid.
  17. 
Ibid.
  18. 
Ibid.
  19. 
Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and The People: A History of Central Park (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), Chapter 15.
  20. 
”The Central Park Track,” The New York Times, 19 March 1892.
  21. Gregory F. 
Gilmartin, Shaping the City: New York City and the Municipal Art Society (New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1995), page 241.
  22. 
Ibid, page 248.
  23. 
”Central Park Safe, Architects Hear,” The New York Times, 19 June 1912.
  24. 
Gregory F. 
Gilmartin, Shaping the City: New York City and the Municipal Art Society (New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1995), pages 421-22.
  25. 
Ibid, page 426.
  26. 
Ibid, pages 435-36.
  27. 
Ibid, page 264.
  28. 
Robert A. Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (New York: Random House 1974), page 336.
  29. 
Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and The People: A History of Central Park (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), Chapter 16.
  30. 
Ibid, p. 449.
  31. 
Ibid, Chapter 16.
  32. 
Ibid, page 454.
  33. Ibid., page 455.
  34. 
Robert A.M. Stern, Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman, New York 1960: Architecture and Urbanism Between The Second World War And The Bicentennial (New York: The Monacelli Press, 1997), page 673.
  35. Ibid, page 764.
  36. Interactive Map of Central Park
  37. 
Robert A.M. Stern, Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman, New York 1960: Architecture and Urbanism Between The Second World War And The Bicentennial (New York: The Monacelli Press, 1997), page 767.
  38. Ibid. 

  39. Robert A. Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (New York: Random House 1974), Chapter 42.
  40. 
Ibid.
  41. 
Anthony C. Wood, Preserving New York: Winning the Right to Protect a City’s Landmark (New York: Routledge, 2008), page 257.
  42. Ibid, page 257.
  43. Gregory F. 
Gilmartin, Shaping the City: New York City and the Municipal Art Society (New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1995), page 384.
  44. Robert A.M. Stern, Thomas Mellins, and David Fishman, New York 1960: Architecture and Urbanism Between The Second World War And The Bicentennial (New York: The Monacelli Press, 1997), page 771.
  45. Gay Talese, “Tiffany’s Sues to Bar Park Cafe Lest Portent of 1928 Come True,” The New York Times, 8 July 1960.
  46. Gregory F. 
Gilmartin, Shaping the City: New York City and the Municipal Art Society (New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers, 1995), page 384.
  47. Roy Rosenzweig and Elizabeth Blackmar, The Park and The People: A History of Central Park (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1992), page 503.
  48. Ibid, page 511.
  49. Ibid, Chapter 18.
  50. Ibid, Chapter 18.
  51. “Central Park Conservancy,” Com 5 February 2015
.
  52. Interactive map of Central Park.