Central Park, New York, USA Tourist Attractions and Travel

Central Park is the largest and most important public park in Manhattan, New York City. With about twenty-five million visitors annually, Central Park is the most visited city park in the United States,and its appearance in many movies and television shows has made it among the most famous city parks in the world. It is run by the Central Park Conservancy, a private, not-for-profit organization that manages the park under a contract with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

New York Tourist Attractions

Central Park occupies an area of 840 acres (340 hectares) and extends between 59th and 110th streets (about 2.5 miles [4 km]) and between Fifth and Eighth avenues (about 0.5 miles [0.8 km]). It was one of the first American parks to be developed using landscape architecture techniques.

Central Park picture, New York City, USA

Central Park attractions

Central Park is bordered on the north by West 110th Street, on the west by Central Park West, on the south by West 59th Street, and on the east by Fifth Avenue. Along the park's borders, these streets are usually referred to as Central Park North, Central Park West, and Central Park South, respectively. (Fifth Avenue retains its name along the eastern border.) , is a multi-use indoor park that provides a focal point that establishes the City Center area as the heart of our city. Woodbury will never have the conventional sort of downtown that brought people together in the older cities. But the park, which links a new Washington County branch library on one end and the existing YMCA on the other, is designed to bring a cross-section of the community together. With activities for a wide range of age groups - from toddlers to teens to seniors - the park, coupled with the new library, enhances our sense of community in Woodbury.

 

Central Park is one of those places that make New York such a great place to live. The huge park, 843 acres large, is located in the center of Manhattan. Its design is an example for city parks around the world. The park boasts several lakes, theaters, ice rinks, fountains, tennis courts, baseball fields, many playgrounds and other facilities. It is also home to the Central Park Zoo and the Metropolitan museum of Art. Especially during the weekends, when cars are not allowed into the park, Central Park is a welcome oasis in this hectic city.

 Central Park tourism

Arguably one of the most famous parks in the world, Central Park is a manmade wonder.  Not only is it the first public park built in America, but it is also one of the most frequently visited, with over 25 million guests per year.

 

Set in the middle of bustling Manhattan, its grounds serve as a safe haven, not only for athletes, daydreamers, musicians, and strollers, but also for teems of migratory birds each year.  One can spend an entire peaceful day roaming its grounds, gazing upon nearly 50 fountains, monuments, and sculptures or admiring its 36 bridges and arches.

 

With recreational facilities abounding, the more energetic won't have a problem finding a spot to skate, pedal, row, dribble, or climb to his or her heart's delight.  Although Central Park has 21 official playgrounds, we like to think of it as one gigantic jungle gym in its peak season.

 

150 years' worth of visitors have enjoyed and recommended Central Park; don’t you think it's time for your turn?

 

In the 1840s the increasing urbanization of Manhattan prompted the poet-editor William Cullen Bryant and the landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing to call for a new, large park to be built on the island. Their views gained widespread support, and in 1856 most of the park's present land was bought with about $5,000,000 that had been appropriated by the state legislature. The clearing of the site, which was begun in 1857, entailed the removal of a bone-boiling works, many scattered hovels and squalid farms, free-roaming livestock, and several open drains and sewers. A plan was devised by the architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux that would preserve and enhance the natural features of the terrain to provide a pastoral park for city dwellers; the plan was chosen from 33 submitted in competition for a $2,000 prize. During the park's ensuing construction millions of cartloads of dirt and topsoil were shifted to build the terrain, about 5,000,000 trees and shrubs were planted, a water-supply system was laid, and many bridges, arches, and roads were constructed.

 Central Park attractions

The completed Central Park officially opened in 1876, and it is still one of the greatest achievements in artificial landscaping. The park's terrain and vegetation are highly varied and range from flat grassy swards, gentle slopes, and shady glens to steep, rocky ravines. The park affords interesting vistas and walks at nearly every point. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is in the park, facing Fifth Avenue. There are also a zoo, an ice-skating rink, three small lakes, an open-air theatre, a band shell, many athletic playing fields and children's playgrounds, several fountains, and hundreds of small monuments and plaques scattered through the area. There are also a police station, several blockhouses dating from the early 19th century, and “Cleopatra's Needle” (an ancient Egyptian obelisk). The park has numerous footpaths and bicycle paths, and several roadways traverse it.

 

The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, both of whom later created Brooklyn's Prospect Park. While much of the park looks natural, it is in fact almost entirely landscaped and contains several artificial lakes, extensive walking tracks, two ice-skating rinks, a wildlife sanctuary, and grassy areas used for various sporting pursuits, as well as playgrounds for children. The park is a popular oasis for migrating birds, and thus is popular with bird watchers. The 6-mile (10 km) road circling the park is popular with joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters, especially on weekends and in the evenings after 7:00 p.m., when automobile traffic is banned.

 Central Park travel

When the terrain for the Central Park was bought by the City of New York in 1853, it was faraway from civilization, somewhere between the City of New York and the village Harlem. The 768 acres large area contained sheds from colonists, quarries, pig farms and swamps.

 

In 1857, the city of New York organized a competition for the design of this new park, which had to rival with the great parks in London and Paris. A design by Frederic Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's design, named 'the Greensward Plan' was chosen. This plan featured an English style landscape with large meadows, several lakes and hills. Winding pedestrian roads were separated from main roads and the huge number of trees ensured the city's buildings were not visible from within the park.

 Central Park attractions

As a year-round, multi-use indoor facility, Central Park also provides space for passive recreational activities, complementing other city parks and facilities which are designed for more active recreational uses. As a result, the indoor park provides more variety while helping to balance recreation programming.

 

In planning for Central Park, the City Council tried to develop a vision for our future community. It is not enough to plan only for essential services, such as fire stations, water wells, and roadways. We also need to make provisions for facilities that will help Woodbury remain a desirable place to live, work, raise a family, and retire in the future.

 

The park opened in September 2002.

 

To convert the swampy area into the park the designers had envisioned, several hundred thousand trees were planted, more than 3 million cubic yards of soil was moved, roads and bridges were constructed and a large reservoir was dug out. It took more than 15 years before the 20,000 workers had completed the park. Central Park immediately became a popular place for all New Yorkers, attracting millions of visitors each year.

 Central Park tourism

New York's Central Park is the first urban landscaped park in the United States. Originally conceived in the salons of wealthy New Yorkers in the early 1850's, the park project spanned more than a decade and cost the city ten million dollars. The purpose was to refute the European view that Americans lacked a sense of civic duty and appreciation for cultural refinement and instead possessed an unhealthy and individualistic materialism that precluded interest in the common good. The bruised egos of New York high society envisioned a sweeping pastoral landscape, among which the wealthy could parade in their carriages, socialize, and "be seen," and in which the poor could benefit from clean air and uplifting recreation without lifting the bottle.

 

After years of debate over the location, the park's construction finally began in 1857, based on the winner of a park design contest, the "Greensward Plan," of Frederick Law Olmsted, the park superintendent, and Calvert Vaux, an architect. Using the power of eminent domain, the city acquired 840 acres located in the center of Manhattan, spanning two and a half miles from 59th Street to 106th Street (in 1863 the park was extended north to 110th Street) and half a mile from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue. In the process, a population of about 1,600 people who had been living in the rocky, swampy terrain--some as legitimate renters and others as squatters--were evicted; included in this sweep were a convent and school, bone-boiling plants, and the residents of Seneca Village, an African-American settlement of about 270 people which boasted a school and three churches. The members of AME Zion, Seneca Village's most prominent church, were scattered throughout the city, their community destroyed. Though the city did compensate the landowners with an average of $700 per lot of land, many residents estimated this far below the value of their property, which, despite the (until then) undesirable topography, contained their homes, their history, and their livelihoods.

 Central Park travel

In the sixties and seventies the park's maintenance entered a decline; despite its growing use for concerts and rallies, clean-up, planting, and general maintenance fell by the wayside. A 1976 evaluation by Columbia University found many parts of the park in sad disrepair, from the low stone wall which surrounded it to the drainage system that kept the transverses from flooding. During the early 1980s there was a massive attempt to involve New Yorkers in the upkeep of their beloved park, including the "You Gotta Have a Park" campaign and the formation of a private fundraising body, the Central Park Conservancy to fund repairs projects. Today, as the major site of most New Yorkers' recreation, the park hosts millions of visitors yearly engaging in such activities as roller blading, fine dining at the Tavern on the Green, watching free performances of Shakespeare in the Park, and relaxing and sunbathing in Sheep's Meadow.



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