One of the symbols of New York and even the USA, Central Park is a green paradise in the middle of the city. The green area between tall buildings and streets is one of the favorite haunts of both New Yorkers and visitors from all over the world. Full of various plants and animals, this park is visited by an average of 25 million people a year.
Foundation of Central Park
Located in the Manhattan district of New York City, Central Park is a social space covering 3382 acres. The park is an artificially created green area where the most valuable lands of the region are. The area where Central Park is positioned was a dirty place that caused swamps and diseases in the past. In 1857, a design competition was held. Among the projects, the one prepared by Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux won first place. The official opening of the park was in 1876.
Central Park is the first landscape project in the world organized close to nature. With this work, the concept of landscape architecture was introduced to the world. Therefore, landscape architecture was born with Central Park, and Olmsted was accepted as its father.
What’s in Central Park?
Central Park is not just an area consisting of green spaces and artificial ponds. It includes an open-air theater, museums, zoo, ice rink, playgrounds, 51 sculptures, 36 bridges and arches, 3 obelisks, 1 castle, 3 artificial ponds, 132 fountains, and approximately 9,000 benches. The 800 m wide, 4 km long park is home to 120 different plant species, more than 26,000 trees, 215 bird species, and 130 animal species.
The Obelisk (Cleopatra’s Needle) is the oldest historical monument in Central Park. The historical piece brought to the park in 1881. It was built for the Sun temple in Heliopolis before Christ. The Obelisk is 21 meters high and weighs 200 tons.
Activities You Can Do in Central Park
There are countless activities you can do in the park. You can sunbathe, read a book, ride a bike, and enjoy the day. Also, the park hosts many colorful festivals.
Built on Vista Rock, Belvedere Castle is one of the most important and amazing structures in the park. You can see the magnificent view of the park from the castle in a panoramic way. The Central Park Zoo and Wildlife Center, Bethesda Terrace, Delacorte Theater, Great Lawn, Strawberry Fields, and Shakespeare Garden are among the other important areas in the park.