Central Park History

James Buchanan

Central Park History Summary
Summary: Central Park History began in the early 1850's when the idea was conceived by the high society of New York City and promoted by Anna Minturn. In 1857, the first Central Park Commission was formed who initiated a design competition for the project. The winners of the design contest, called the "Greensward Plan" were park superintendent, Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux. The New York State legislature initially acquired 778 acres of land and construction work began in 1857.
It was the first landscaped public park in the United States.

Central Park History
James Buchanan was the 15th American President who served in office from March 4, 1857 to March 4, 1861. One of the important events during his presidency was the start of the construction of Central Park in Manhattan, New York City. This article describes about Central Park History, its features and sculptures.

   
  

Central Park History

'Cleopatra's Needle' Obelisk in Central Park, New York, 1897

'Cleopatra's Needle' Obelisk
in Central Park, New York
 

Central Park History for kids: Fast Fact Sheet
The following facts on Central Park History provides a fast fact sheet of important historical information.

● Location:  Central Park, Manhattan, New York, United States
● Idea Promoter: Anna Minturn and the high society of New York City
● Construction start date of Central Park: 1857
● Initial land acquired: 778 acres. 2.5 miles from 59th Street to 106th Street and half a mile from Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue.
● The initial cost of land? 5 million dollars for Central Park
● Name of the Designers: Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux
● Date Central Park was opened: November, 1858
● Ice Skating: By December 1858 New Yorkers were skating on the 20 acre lake south of the Ramble in Central Park
● How big is Central Park now? The size of Central Park has been extended to cover 842 acres -  1.3 sq miles.

Facts about the Central Park History: Fun Facts for Kids
History and interesting info about
Central Park History. Fast Facts about about Central Park History for kids are detailed below. The history and information is told in a series of fun facts providing a simple method of relating to construction of Central Park History. Cool, fun and interesting stats and facts for kids about Central Park History.

Central Park History Facts for Kids

Central Park History Fact 1: The original design plan for the streets of Manhattan was established by the Commissioners Plan of 1811 put in place the grid plan for Manhattan but as Central Park was not envisioned until 1853 it was never included in the original design.

Central Park History Fact 2: Landscape gardener, Alexander Jackson Downing, proposed some initial plans in 1850

Central Park History Fact 3: Anna Mary Wendell Minturn, the wife of a wealthy merchant called Robert Bowne Minturn, worked to gain support for the idea of a great "Central Park" from the high society in New York City.

Central Park History Fact 4: The reasons for the Central Park project were to show the countries of Europe that the new, emerging cities of the United States were becoming culturally refined and aware of their civic duties to their citizens.  For additional facts refer to the History of Urbanization in America

Central Park History Fact 5: The vision for Central Park was to create an area for recreational activities and the opportunity to socialize. Fine, sweeping landscapes with a variety of unusual trees, plants and flowers would bring beauty to the city based on the a pastoral landscape like that of English romantic gardens. Classic, architecture, elegant fountains and expensive statues of famous, prestigious people to bring culture to New Yorkers.

Central Park History Fact 6: In 1853 the state legislature granted the city the right to buy lands in the vicinity of 59th and 106th streets, and Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue.

Central Park History Fact 7: 778 acres of land was acquired, at the cost of $5 million dollars, which was equivalent to 6% of Manhattan's total acreage.

Central Park History Fact 8: Over 1,600 residents were displaced when the land was acquired for Central Park. 6 percent of Manhattan's total acreage.

Central Park History Fact 9: The first Central Park Commission was formed and the commissioners initiated a design competition for the project which was published on October 13, 1857.

Central Park History Fact 10: The commissioners specified there should be sites for an exhibition or concert hall, a prominent fountain, a flower garden, a winter skating lake, playgrounds for healthy exercise, and a parade ground for militia drills

Central Park History Fact 11: The winners of the design contest, called the "Greensward Plan" were park superintendent, Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux.

Central Park History Fact 12: The New York State legislature initially acquired 778 acres of land of what would be the first landscaped public park in the United States of America

Central Park History Fact 13: The Central Park site needed a significant amount of work. Nearly 3 million cubic yards of soil was needed, swamps were cleared and replaced by lakes and a curved reservoir was also added to the site.

Central Park History Fact 14: The Central Park site was planted with 270,000 shrubs, plants and trees. The site included seven water features totaling 150 acres, fountains, 136 acres of woodlands and 250 acres of lawns. There were 4.25 miles of bridle paths.

Central Park History Fact 15: $14 million was spent on developing the land and construction works for Central Park.

Central Park History Fact 16: Bridges and Arches: There were a total of 11 decorative bridges and 22 arches.

Central Park History Fact 17: The first visitors were generally from the middle and upper classes who had the free time to socialize and take carriage rides. The lower classes worked 6 days a week only leaving Sundays to make the trip. It wasn't until the early 1900's that this trend changed

Central Park History Fact 18: There were restrictions in relation to some activities in early Central Park history, for instance group picnics were forbidden and tradesmen were banned to use their trade wagons for family excursions. Ball games were also restricted.

Central Park History Fact 19: The Geographical features of Central Park include the Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary, The Ramble and Lake, Conservatory Garden, Conservatory Water, Great Lawn / Turtle Pond, Cedar Hill, Cherry Hill, Harlem Meer, The Lake, Onassis Reservoir, Rat Rock, Seneca Village, Sheep Meadow and Vista Rock

Central Park History Fact 20: Over the years many additional recreational facilities were added for people to visit in Central Park. The history continues below with facts and history about the places of interest together with the famous people who are remembered in the form of fine statues and sculptures.

Continued...

Central Park History Facts for Kids

Facts about the Central Park History: Fun Facts for Kids
History and interesting info about
Central Park History. Fast Facts for kids are detailed below. The history and information is told in a series of fun facts providing a simple method of relating to construction of Central Park History. Cool, fun and interesting stats and facts for kids about the Central Park History.

Central Park History Facts for Kids

Central Park History Fact 21: The Ladies Pavilion was built in 1903 to shelter ladies waiting to change streetcars at the Columbus Circle corner of the park - it went rusty over the years and was restored in 1979.

Central Park History Fact 22: Over 230 different species of birds have been spotted over the years in Central Park.

Central Park History Fact 23: Calvert Vaux's design of Bank Rock Bridge, also called Cabinet Bridge, was made of carved white oak with decorative cast-iron panels and pine decking. It was restored in 2007

Central Park History Fact 24: Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park: The famous red granite obelisk referred to as 'Cleopatra's Needle' dates back to the reign of the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose III in 1450 BC. It is one of a pair - the other is by the River Thames in London. Cleopatra's Needle was erected on February 22, 1881. It is 21 metres (69 ft) high, weighs about 224 tons and is inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Central Park History Fact 25: Christopher Columbus: The bronze sculpture of Christopher Columbus by Jeronimo Sunol was created in 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Columbus's arrival in the Americas and was unveiled on May 12, 1894.

Central Park History Fact 26: Daniel Webster: The bronze sculpture of Daniel Webster, the great American statesman, was made by Thomas Ball and erected in 1876.

Central Park History Fact 27: The 107th Infantry Memorial is a bronze sculpture and memorial by sculptor Karl Illava that was dedicated on September 27, 1927

Central Park History Fact 28: Eagles and Prey is the oldest known sculpture and was installed in 1863. Eagles and Prey is in bronze by the sculptor Christophe Fratin. It was a gift given to the City by Gordon Webster Burnham (1803-1885).

Central Park History Fact 29: The Falconer by English sculptor George Blackall Simonds depicts a man in Elizabethan clothing releasing a hunting falcon. The bronze statue was erected in 1875.

Central Park History Fact 30: The Indian Hunter: The Indian Hunter is a bronze sculpture by John Quincy Adams Ward, and first sculpture erected in Central Park by an American artist. It was dedicated on February 4, 1869.

Central Park History Fact 31: Robert Burns (1759 1796): The bronze depiction of the famous Scottish poet Robert Burns is by John Steell and one of four versions, the others being in Dundee, London and Dunedin. It was dedicated on October 2, 1880.

Central Park History Fact 32: William Shakespeare (1564 1616): The tribute to the great English playwright William Shakespeare is by John Quincy Adams Ward and was unveiled in 1872.

Central Park History Fact 33: Frances Hodgeson Burnett Memorial Fountain: A memorial to Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849 1924) that was dedicated in 1936. Frances Hodgeson Burnett was an English playwright and author famous for her children's stories including Little Lord Fauntleroy and The Secret Garden.

Central Park History Fact 34: The Seventh Regiment Memorial by John Quincy Adams Ward honors the 58 men of the 7th Regiment who died defending the Union during the Civil War. It was erected in June 1874.

Central Park History Fact 35: Samuel Morse: The bronze depiction of the famous inventor of the telegraph, Samuel Morse, is by Byron M. Pickett and was dedicated on June 10, 1871.

Central Park History Fact 36: Sir Walter Scott (1771 1832): The bronze portrait statue of Walter Scott, the great Scottish author and poet, is by John Steell, and was dedicated on November 27, 1872, donated by Scottish-Americans of New York.

Central Park History Fact 37: Romeo and Juliet: The works of William Shakespeare are remembered in the modern bronze depiction of Romeo and Juliet by American artist Milton Hebald. It is located in front of Delacorte Theater and was donated by philanthropist George T. Delacorte, Jr. in 1978.

Central Park History Fact 38: King Jagiello (1386 - 1434): The King Jagiello Monument depicts the ancient Polish king on horseback. It is by the Polish sculptor Stanisław K. Ostrowski (1879-1947) and was erected in July 1945.

Central Park History Fact 39: Giuseppe Mazzini: The bronze bust of Giuseppe Mazzini, the famous Italilian revolutionary, is by Giovanni Turini. It was commissioned by a group of Italian-Americans and was dedicated in 1878.

Central Park History Fact 40: Fitz-Greene Halleck: The bronze statue of the American poet Fitz-Greene Halleck is by James Wilson Alexander MacDonald and installed on May 15, 1877. It was the first statue in Central Park to depict an American and nearly 10,000 people attended its dedication.

Central Park History Fact 41: Victor Herbert: The bronze bust of composer Victor Herbert is by Edmund Thomas Quinn. The memorial was commissioned by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and dedicated in 1927.

Central Park History Fact 42: Untermyer Fountain: Untermyer Fountain in Central Park features a bronze cast of Walter Schott's Three Dancing Maidens, and is named after American lawyer Samuel Untermyer. The Untermyer fountain was donated by his children, following his death in 1940.

Central Park History Fact 43: The Arsenal in Central Park: The Arsenal brick building was built between 1847 and 1851 as a storehouse for arms and ammunition for the New York State Militia.

Central Park History Fact 44: Belvedere Castle: Belvedere Castle in Central Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux and built in 1869 as a Victorian Folly (an extravagant building built primarily for decoration).

Central Park History Fact 45: Bethesda Terrace: Bethesda Terrace was the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux to create a sweeping Promenade (the Mall) leading to a grand terrace overlooking the Lake. It was constructed in 1859-64. The Bethesda Fountain is a great feature on the lower level of the terrace depicting an 8 foot female winged angel and 4 four-foot cherubs representing Temperance, Purity, Health, and Peace.

Central Park History Fact 46: The Carousel in Central Park: The original 1871 Central Park carousel was powered by a mule or horse under the carousel's platform. The current carousel (the fourth) has 57 hand-carved horses and two chariots.

Central Park History Fact 47: Delacorte Theater: The Delacorte Theater in Central Park is an 1,800-seat open-air theater named in honor of George T. Delacorte, Jr who donated the money for the construction. It is leased by Shakespeare in the Park and was opened in 1962.

Central Park History Fact 48: During the Great Depression of the 1930's homeless people set up camp in Shantytowns and Hoovervilles. One such shanty town sprang up in an empty reservoir - now the Great Lawn in Central Park. The Central Park shanty town was called "Hoover Valley" and the shacks were referred to as "Depression Street". It was demolished in April 1933 when work on the reservoir landfill resumed.

Central Park History Fact 49: John Lennon: Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park is a 2.5-acre landscaped section that is dedicated to the memory of Beatles member John Lennon and named after the Beatles song "Strawberry Fields Forever". It was designed by Bruce Kelly and dedicated on October 9, 1985. The Diana Ross playground was opened in 1987 and features various swings and slides.

Central Park History Fact 50: Central Park Zoo: The Central Park Zoo was opened in 1864 as the menagerie. It the second publicly owned zoo to be established in the United States, after the Philadelphia Zoo. The zoo is part of an integrated system of four zoos and the New York Aquarium and covers 6.5 acres of Central Park.

Central Park History Facts for Kids

Central Park History - President James Buchanan Video
The article on the Central Park History provides an overview of one of the Important issues of his presidential term in office. The following James Buchanan video will give you additional important facts and dates about the political events experienced by the 15th American President whose presidency spanned from March 4, 1857 to March 4, 1861.

Central Park History

Interesting Facts about Central Park History for kids and schools
Summary of the Central Park History in US history
The Central Park History, a important event in US history
James Buchanan Presidency from March 4, 1857 to March 4, 1861
Fast, fun facts about the Central Park History and its zoo
Foreign & Domestic policies of President James Buchanan
James Buchanan Presidency and the Central Park History for schools, homework, kids and children

Central Park History - US History - Facts - Important Event - Central Park History - Summary of History - Zoo - American - US - USA History - Central Park History - America - Dates - United States History - US History for Kids - Children - Schools - History Homework - Important facts on Central Park History - Facts - Central Park History - United States History - Important - Events - History - Interesting - Central Park History - Info - Information - American History - Facts - Historical - Important Events in Central Park History - Central Park History