Central Park

Transportation

Central Park is going car-free

By Michelle Colman, Fri, April 20, 2018

Photo via Jeffrey Zeldman/Flickr

Last night Mayor de Blasio teased us by tweeting, “We’re making a BIG announcement tomorrow on the future of Central Park. Stay tuned.” This morning he announced, “Central Park goes car-free in June. 24/7, 365 days a year — because parks are for people, not cars.” That is BIG news. After banning cars north of 72nd Street three years ago, the city will now prohibit them south of 72nd.

All the details right this way

Harlem

Statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims in Central Park. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

New York City’s Public Design Commission voted unanimously Monday in favor of removing a statue of 19th century surgeon J. Marion Sims from its Central Park pedestal, the New York Times reports. It was recommended that the statue of the controversial doctor, who conducted experimental surgeries on female slaves without their consent (and without anesthesia), be removed from its spot at 103rd Street in East Harlem after Mayor Bill de Blasio asked for a review of “symbols of hate” on city property eight months ago. 6sqft previously reported on the request by Manhattan Community Board 11 to remove the East Harlem statue of Sims, who is regarded as the father of modern gynecology. The statue, which will be moved to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery where the doctor is buried, represents the city’s first decision to make changes to a prominent monument since the review.

Find out more

History

Central Park Ladies Pavilion

Photo via Wikipedia

To get to Central Park’s Ladies Pavilion, it is necessary to go on, by New York City standards, a bonafide nature hike. Perched at the edge of the Lake, in a far corner of the Ramble, the cottage-like, open-air, Victorian-style structure was built in 1871 to serve as a “shelter for the horsecar passengers” near Columbus Circle, according to the New York Times.

It was once destroyed

Landscape Architecture

belvedere castle

Photos via Central Park Conservancy

The Belvedere in Central Park was conceived as a miniature castle by Calvert Vaux, co-designer of the park, in 1869. It opened with some of the best views of the city’s prized green space–the name Belvedere was chosen as it is Italian for “beautiful view.” But the years have taken their toll on the stone structure, which has not been renovated since 1983. Now the Central Park Conservancy will close it to address issues like cracked pavement, a leaky roof, and plumbing issues. Starting this Monday, February 26th, Belvedere Castle will be off-limits to the public for its restoration, and will not reopen until 2019.

More details of the reno

History, Policy

On the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote in New York state, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation will make an announcement today that it’s moving ahead with a proposal to erect a monument to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in Central Park. First reported by West Side Rag, the statue of the two suffragists will be Central Park’s first monument to historic women and only the sixth in the entire city. It will be placed on the mall, which runs from 66th to 72nd Streets in the middle of the park, and will be unveiled on another important date–the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote nationally on August 26, 2020.

Get the full story

City Living

central park, running central park, central park conservancy

Joggers in Central Park, via Wikimedia

If you’re suddenly feeling inspired to start running with all the talk of the New York City Marathon on Sunday, a map created by the Central Park Conservancy will help you get moving. While Central Park no longer serves as the only spot marathon contestants race through as it did during the city’s first marathon in 1970, it remains an oasis for runners of all experience levels. The conservancy’s guide maps out the many loops and trails of the park to help you hit the ground running in preparation for next year’s marathon, or even just starting a new hobby.

Find out more

Featured Story

Features, History, Manhattan

german u boat, central park, history, 1917

Photo via Library of Congress

Exactly 100 years ago–on October 25th, 1917–New Yorkers were celebrating “Liberty Day,” a holiday invented by the federal government to finance the massive effort of entering World War I. One third of the war’s funding would come from the imposition of progressive new taxes, while two thirds would come from selling “Liberty Bonds” to the American people. The holiday was part of an unprecedented publicity campaign to convince the public to buy the bonds. New Yorkers are notoriously hard to impress, so it’s no surprise the government rolled out all the punches: a three-engine Caproni bomber plane flew low among the skyscrapers, a parade of military motorcycles traveled up 5th Avenue, and a captured German U-boat submarine lay festooned with American flags inside Central Park.

Read more about the day’s events

Events, maps

Central Park in Autumn, photo via Anthony Quintano on Flickr

Central Park’s most dazzling and vibrant season has arrived. With over 20,000 trees and 150 species of trees spread across 843-acres, Central Park in autumn remains a cannot-miss spectacle for New Yorkers. Thankfully, the Central Park Conservancy created a fall foliage map making it easy to find the leaves with the brightest shades of gold, yellow, red and orange this season.

Check it out

Architecture, Green Design, Urban Design

Rendering via DFA

Local creative studio DFA is proposing a 712-foot public observation tower in Central Park that would double as a sustainable filtration system to clean the decommissioned and hazardous Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and turn it into a non-toxic, useable freshwater pond. The firm says their idea is “in response to [the] growing demand for public bird’s eye views in the world’s tallest cities and an increasing need for innovative environmental cleanup strategies.” Though meant to be temporary, the prefabricated tower would be the world’s tallest timber structure if completed, featuring a 56-foot-wide viewing platform and a glass oculus that showcases the tower’s functional elements.

All the details and renderings ahead

Events, film

central park conservancy, central park film festival, central park movies

Photo of the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival via Shinya Suzuki’s Flickr

Celebrate the end of summer with the 2017 Central Park Conservancy Film Festival, which kicks off Monday night with the showing of the 2014 remake of “Annie.” In addition to Central Park screenings, the film festival will include free outdoor screenings in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park and Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways. This year’s lineup features movies filmed in New York, including “The Wiz,” The Great Gatsby,” and “The Godfather.” All of the movie screenings are free to attend and tickets are not necessary.

More details here

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