Central Park is totally artificial. Water elements were a crucial component in the creation of Central Park by landscape architects Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted in 1857 as a strategy to enhance public health. The designers chose this location because there was already enough water in the area to create a park that would be beneficial to residents' health.
The designers decided to include several large lakes in the middle of the park, surrounded by wooded areas. They also included many paths for people to walk along, with bridges connecting one part of the lake to another. There are even small islands within the lakes that people can visit. All of these features help reduce the incidence of disease by providing other means of exercise and entertainment while at the same time allowing fresh air into the city.
Central Park is a great place for people to go for a hike, ride a bike, run, play soccer, or any other sport. There are also many monuments and trees within the park that people can visit while enjoying their day out.
Central Park is a wonderful example of nature in our city undergoing transformation through human intervention. The creators used their expertise as architects to design what is now one of the most popular parks in New York, fully realizing its potential as a remedy to urban sickness.
Central Park designers Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) and Calvert Vaux (1822–1903)
Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, impacted the development of urban parks across the country and is widely recognized as a masterpiece of landscape architecture. Central Park is a National Historic Landscape (1963) and a City of New York Scenic Landscape (1974).
Parks help to establish communities. Central Park, dubbed the "people's park" by park designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, was envisioned as a democratic area available to individuals of all backgrounds and economic statuses. It is estimated that some 5 million people visit Central Park each year.
Parks serve as gathering places for friends and family, promote exercise and wellness, provide habitat for wildlife, and more. The quality of life in cities like New York depends greatly on their parks, so it is important that they are well maintained and attractive. Visitors to Manhattan's Central Park can enjoy its many attractions including tennis courts, baseball fields, and an ice-skating rink in wintertime.
The land that now makes up Central Park was originally part of two estates named Van Cortlandt Manor and Tarrytown Village. In 1857, John D. Rockefeller donated $100,000 (about $1.5 million in 2017 dollars) to create a public park from this land. Today, Central Park is one of the most visited spots in New York City.
In 1857, a rising young London architect called Calvert Vaux approached Olmsted to collaborate on a submission for the Central Park competition. At the time, Olmsted was the first superintendent of Central Park, a position Vaux felt would provide Olmsted with unparalleled understanding of the terrain. The two men agreed to work together.
Their proposal was accepted and they went on to design a park that was to be "the largest and best in America." They also proposed a system of roads and paths within the park for pedestrians and cyclists. These were to be called the Ramble, the Meadow, and the Circuit of the Park, respectively. Today, these paths are used as a means of exercise for visitors to the park.
Vaux died in 1860 at the age of 36 after having been sick for several months. The following year, Olmsted married Louisa Boettiger. She had been an assistant to Vaux and knew everything about the project. Together, they had four children who all survived childhood.
Olmsted kept his position as superintendent for another seven years but then he retired to focus on designing parks across the United States and abroad. He died in 1903 at the age of 79.
Central Park is one of New York City's most visited attractions with over 8 million visitors per year.