Central Park

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

Featured Story

Features, photography, The urban lens

Dionisio González photographer, Dionisio González architect, Galerie Richard, Dialectical Landscape, Thinking Central Park

Image © Dionisio González

6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Spanish artist Dionisio González presents two series of digital photos showcasing Central Park. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].

Architect and photographer Dionisio González has made a name for himself with his surrealist photo manipulations, which typically combine existing buildings and urban spaces with digitally drawn structures and landscapes. His latest two series take on Central Park and how the city’s giant “void” relates to its surrounding skyscrapers. In his “Thinking Central Park” series, González fills the space with futuristic shelters. Conversely, in the black-and-white series “Dialectical Landscape” he adds empty spaces as aerial extensions of the park for recreation and transportation.

See them all right here

Events

Camp out in Central Park for free next weekend

By Devin Gannon, Thu, August 10, 2017

central park, camping in central park

Camping in Central Park, photo via Downtown Traveler

Connect with nature under a Manhattan starry night with a camping trip in Central Park next Saturday, August 19th. This usually illegal activity is totally lawful through a free event hosted by the city’s Urban Park Rangers. The family camping program happens every summer at select venues, like Central Park in Manhattan, Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, Mccarren Park in Brooklyn and Fort Totten Park in Queens.

Find out more

Design, History, Manhattan

john rink, central park design, rejected central park design

John Rink’s rejected design proposal for Central Park, via NY Historical Society

Central Park, which celebrated its 164th anniversary this month, required elaborate planning to make it what it is today: the most visited urban park in the country. New York City launched a design competition in 1857 for the development of the open space between Manhattan’s 59th and 110th Streets. Most New Yorkers know that out of 33 total entrants, the city chose Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s “Greensward Plan.” However, just five of the losing designs survived and can be seen at the New York Historical Society. One particularly unique design was submitted by park engineer John Rink, who planned Central Park to be highly decorated with whimsically shaped sections dominated by topiaries (h/t Slate).

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