Central Park is the most famous park in the world and a landmark of New York City. Central Park was the first landscaped park in the United States. It was designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux and took over 20,000 workers to complete. The park was opened to the public in 1857.
Since its opening, Central Park has grown to include 840 acres of land and welcomes approximately 37 million visitors each year! Therefore, it is the most visited urban park in America! In 1962 Central Park was awarded the status of “National Historical Landmark” by the U.S. government.
There are lots of things to see and do in Central Park! Fountains, lakes, zoos and playgrounds are just a few of the things that the location offers visitors. Below is the third in a four part list series that documents some of the most famous sites to see when in Central Park.
The Dairy is a building that was constructed on the grounds of Central Park in 1870. Its original intent was to be a source of fresh milk for city children at a time when it was difficult for city dwellers to find fresh milk, especially among the poorer populations. Today the impressively ornate dairy is an information center and gift shop that helps visitors enjoy their time at the park and make the most out of their time.
Horse drawn carriages are yet another attraction in Central Park that can trace their origins back to the park’s creation in the mid-1800s. Before cars were invented horse drawn carriages were the quickest way to get around the city and many of the walkways in Central Park were designed to accommodate horse and carriage traffic. The appeal of horse drawn carriage rides has lasted until this day and park goers can still seek out rides through the park on these carriages.
The Central Park Gazebo is a wooden gazebo that offers guests a chance to sit and rest in it. The gazebo is relatively new to the park since it was built in 1976 to honor the nations Bicentennial. In many ways the gazebo’s relaxing intentions mirror that of The Ladies Pavilion, another picturesque structure in the park that offers guest a place to sit down. The Ladies Pavilion was built in 1871 as a shelter for trolley passengers. The pavilion overlooks one of Central Park’s impressive lakes and its scenic view make it a very popular place for couple’s to take wedding pictures.
Strawberry Fields is a 25 acre section of parkland that serves as a tribute to the late singer and songwriter, John Lennon. Famous for his role in the 1960s band “The Beatles,” John Lennon lived and died close to this portion of Central Park. After John Lennon’s death in 1980, the park unveiled a circular in-ground plaque with the word “Imagine” embedded on it in his honor. Ever since the plaque was introduced to the park in 1981, people have placed flowers on it in the late artist’s memory.
Cleopatra’s Needle is a 69 foot tall red granite tower-like structure that is inscribed with Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs (similar to the one shown here). It is believed that Cleopatra’s Needle was initially created in 1450 BC and the inscriptions were added 200 years later. There are two other similar structures on display in London, England and Paris, France.