New York Central Park is the most famous park in the world, which was repeatedly mentioned in cinema and literature. It is a favorite place for recreation among New Yorkers and guests of the metropolis. New York Central Park is not only a beautiful oasis amid “the concrete jungle” but also the safest place for a walk. Police officers are patrolling the park around the clock and the paths are well lit with lanterns, which also have the numbers of the nearest streets written on them if you suddenly get lost. Central Park can impress you with its rich history, which is rooted in the 19th century. It’s hard to believe, but there used to be a swamp on the site of the legendary park. Learn more at new-york.name.
The foundation of Central Park
In the 19th century, the population of New York was increasing every year and the city became the financial and industrial center of the country. However, there was no recreational place for quite a long time. At that time, 39th Street was the edge of the city and there was a large marshy area beyond, where mostly farmers lived and worked.
On August 2, 1857, the city authorities decided to clear the land in the center of Manhattan for a park. However, it turned out immediately that this place was not the best option, as the area was full of poor people’s houses or pig farms and it also served as a city dump.
When architects Frederick Olmsted and Calvert Vaux visited the site to start projecting in 1857, they were shocked, as their feet were knee-deep in mud. Olmstead even said that it could be harmful to health because of the noxious fumes from the decomposing garbage. Although the architects opposed the idea, they still took up their work.
The main idea was to unite all strata of the population, from the wealthiest New Yorkers to ordinary workers. Such an idea was proposed because the authorities were worried about the social injustice that prevailed in the metropolis in those years. Only wealthy people could visit gardens, parks and squares back then. Central Park was designed in the English style and was intended to become a symbol of democratic principles and freedoms.
According to Afisha.life, the authorities had to evict about 1,600 people from that area and compensate the landowners with $700 to build the park.
The construction of Central Park lasted 16 years. The fertile soil was specially brought there from New Jersey because the original soil was inappropriate for many trees and bushes. 4 million plants of 1,400 species were planted in the park and workers used 260 tons of gunpowder to blast the rocks in the area. The construction cost was $9 million in total, a huge sum back then. Most of the work was done by thousands of immigrants from Ireland and Scotland, who worked more than 10 hours and were paid $1.50 a day.
The best place to have a walk
Thousands of people visit Central Park every day, but, despite such popularity, its large area allows visitors to enjoy the serenity and beauty of nature in this place. The New York park takes the area between the famous Plaza Hotel and Harlem. There, you can see a great variety of trees, such as spruces, maples, apple trees, oaks, etc. Along the walking passes, the bushes are neatly fenced off from unruly guests or animals.
Obviously, Central Park is more crowded on weekends. So, if you prefer more secluded walks, it is better to visit it on weekdays. There are no restaurants or shops in the park, where you can buy something if you suddenly get hungry. Therefore, it is better to take drinks and snacks with you for a long walk.