Central Park in Manhattan NY


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About Central Park

Central park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1858. They envisioned the park as a place where people of all social and ethnic backgrounds could have fun and do their activities . The place was a treeless , rocky one and stagnant swampland. However Olmstead and Vaux transformed it into a urban oasis .During the 19th century approximately 60000 people were living in New York city. In the 1830's a tremendous number of immigrants came in to the city increasing the number of people to 30000 by1840 and in 1850' it increased to 500000.Many people were looking for a place to relax and escape the press of bodies and the din of the city.

In 1857 the city commissioners sponsored a public competition to design the central park . The "greensward plan " by Frederick Law Olmsted , who became the superintendent of the park ,and Calvert Vaux (partner of Andrew Jackson Downing). The plan exhibited both sweeping meadows and lakes of the pastoral landscape and the rocky irregularity of the land. Olmsted knew about the conditions of the terrain and based his design because of this , for example that the southern part was mostly a rolling section could be the tranquil , serene section. The rocky an wooded western and northern inspired him too.

The city commissioners paid more than $5 million for the undeveloped land from 59th street to 106th street, between Fifth and Eighth avenues. Central park soil was inadequate to sustain the trees and shrubs that the plan included so 500000cubic feet of top soil was carted in from new jersey. The land was manually dug up and huge boulders blasted out. All materials were carried in and out on horse-drawn carts. By 1873 more than 10 million cartloads of material had been hauled through the park. This material included more than 4 million trees ,shrubs, and plants representing more than 1400 species. The thirty -six bridges and archways that are in central park were built and four man-made water bodies, fed from the city's water supply, were created.

It took twenty years after the approval of the Greensward Plan for Central Park to be completed. Olmsted and Vaux officially resigned many times mostly because of political battles. A good part of the problems stemmed from Tammany Hall, the democrat machine that dominated New York politics from1850 until 1933.In 1877 Olmsted finally decided to leave the park , however Vaux stayed until his death in 1895. Later on more pressure was on the Park because of the public demand for recreational space and the advent of automobiles. For decades after the death of Vaux there were only intermittent efforts to improve the lawns , replace dead trees and shrubs , or to end the littering and vandalism.

In 1934 Robert Moses was chose to continue the plan. He had built Long Island's first parkways and created Jones Beach. He cleaned up Central park and other New York parks. Many flowers bloomed where there had been bare dirt, the park wall was sandblasted to its original dark cream color. Under Moses, Central Park gained 19 play grounds ,12 ball fields, hand ball courts and the Wollman Rink. Moses also raised money from wealthy people to create popular sites as the Hans Christian Andersen and Alice in Wonderland sculptures, the Chess and Checkers House, and the Carousel. A renovated Central park Zoo and Tavern .

Once again in the 1960's it was a period of decline for Central Park because of peace rallies , protest marches ,summer concerts and New Year's Eve. However there were some positive changes because " The Public Theatre's Shakespeare in the park " debuted. And in 1964 Central park was declared a National historic landmark and in 1974 it was named a New York City Landmark. The park today has more than 26000 trees ,58 miles of scenic pathways and nearly 9000 benches on 843 acres. More than 25 million people visit Central Park from all over the world.

In central park there are a lot of activities that a person could do, since central park had 840 acres, a person can find from very peaceful activities like drawing to very stimulate activities like sports. There are leisure activities, educational and cultural experiences, artistic and hedonistic pursuits. There are activities for people of different ages; everyone can find things to do in this beautiful park. Most of the activities are free, but the cost of other activities varies from one dollar to fifty dollars. To find things to do you could go to the visitors center were you can learn about any upcoming events, and maybe sign up for a bird-watching, hike or nature walk.

Playing Sports in Central Park

There are a lot of sports that one can do in Central park, since it is a recreational park. One sport that is very common is running or jogging, walking, bicycle, and roller skating, it is a beautiful place to run the park give the runner three long distance routes that are circling, the first one 6.1 miles, then 5.2 miles and last 1.7 miles. And the runners get a gorgeous view when running.

Another sport that can be practice in central park is horse riding. The only thing that a person has to do to get to ride a horse is to reserve a horse from Claremont Stable at 175 West 89th street fro 50 dollar per hour.

Some of the sport more known in the world can be play in central park, like soccer, tennis, basketball, baseball, softball, football. There are fields in the park for young and old people to pass a great time. Soccer can be play from September to November, and a person has to have permission to the NYC Department of Park/Recreation. And to reserve, soccer permits cost 10 dollars per session. In these fields people can play leagues. In order to play tennis one should go to the Central Park Tennis Center that is between West 94th street and 96th street. The only requirement is smooth soled shoes (running shoes are forbid) and all players must have a season or single play permit. Basketball can be play freely, in any court, there are around 52 courts. There are 8 fields for softball and baseball. To play leagues a permit form NYC Department of Park/Recreation and it cost 8 dollars per season. The footballs fields are in middle of the park 97th street and to play a permit have to be acquired from the NYC Department of Park/Recreation.

In addition anyone can fish in the Central Park but the rule that you have to release the fish after catching it. A permit is no required for fishing except if 20 o more people are going to fish. In central park we can find 200 different species of birds and people can go through the park to try to find all kinds of species. In central park have a pool where people can go to swim in the summer in 108th and 109th in the middle of the park that is open from11:00 am to 2:45 pm and from 4:00 pm to 6:45 pm everyday of the week. And in winter people can go to ice skating in two places one is the Wollman Rink at Eat side between 62nd and 63rd street, and the second is Lasker Rink that is in the middle of the park between 106th and 108th street. In the lake of Central Park people can row boating (only five people per boat). The boats are rent at the Loeb Boathouse from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm. And the boats have to be return by 6:30 pm. The cost of the boat per the first hour is 10 dollars and 2.50 fro each additional 15 minutes, and a person has to leave a deposit of 30 dollars.

Central Park Zoo Open to Everyone

One of the biggest attractions in the Central Park of New York City is a zoo that is located in 5th Avenue at East 64th Street. There have been animals in Central Park since 1860's, at the beginning there were only 72 white swans and a black bear cub which were donated. In 1864, the State Legislature authorized the city Parks Commission to establish a zoo, and it was known as the Menagerie. Later on in 1934, the Commissioner of Parks Robert Moses remodeled the Menagerie into the Central Park Zoo. In 1980 the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) singed an agreement with NYC to renovate and operate the zoo. This work was no easy; the WCS had to contract their animal and exhibit experts, architects Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo and Associates, which led to this immense project. As part of this project many building in that area were demolish which began in the winter of 1983 and continue in 1984. The construction of the park began in the spring of 1985. In August 8 of 1988 the modernize Central Park Zoo open its door to thousands of people. Today the Central Park Zoo received almost one million of visitors every year.

Facts about New York Central Park

Central Park is larger than two of the world's smallest nations. It is almost twice as large as Monaco and nearly eight times as large as Vatican City.

The Central Park constitutes its own United States census tract, number 143. According to Census 2000, the park's population is eighteen persons, twelve male and six female, with a median age of 38.5 years, and a household size of 2.33, over 3 households.

Legendary entertainer Diana Ross has a playground named after her in Central Park, the Diana Ross Playground.

On Saturday, February 8, 1964, as part of the Beatles first visit to America, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr visited Central Park while entertaining photographers and members of the press. George Harrison stayed back at the group's suite at the Plaza Hotel, due to a bout with tonsillitis. On Lennon's birthday, October 9, 1985, Yoko Ono helped inaugurate the Strawberry Fields memorial, created as a tribute to him following his murder on December 8, 1980.

Sheep actually grazed on the Sheep Meadow from the 1860s until 1934, when they were moved upstate since it was feared they would be used for food by impoverished depression-era New Yorkers.

Fairmount Park in Philadelphia is actually more than 10 times as large as Central Park. Despite this, Central Park has 2.5 times as many visitors.

The real-estate value of Central Park is estimated to be $528,783,552,000 according to the property-appraisal firm Miller Samuel.

Charles Ives wrote a piece called 'Central Park in the Dark'. Tunes of the day are included, such as 'Hello, My Baby', and music to represent a passing fire engine and a horse going through the fence.


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