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Travel Guide 2   >   USA   >   Places of Interest   >   Central Park

   
 

Central Park


Central Park
Central Park is a large public park in New York. The park contains many statues, a lake used for model boats, is used for open theatre and concert productions, is a popular location for horse riding, and also contains a zoo.


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Books about Central Park


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Seeing Central Park: An Official Guide to the World's Greatest Urban Park

By Sara Cedar Miller

Harry N. Abrams
Hardcover (192 pages)

Seeing Central Park: An Official Guide to the World s Greatest Urban Park
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For more than 150 years, Central Park has been the centerpiece of New York City, drawing more than 25 million visitors each year. In Seeing Central Park, Sara Cedar Miller, the official historian and photographer of the Central Park Conservancy, takes readers through America's most popular and celebrated park, where natural and manmade features are interwoven into a spectacular work of public art. Combining superb research and writing with breathtaking photographs, Seeing Central Park is not only a gorgeous gift book, but also a guide through every significant design feature in the park, from the largest, such as the Reservoir, to the smallest, such as the intricate carvings in the stonework surrounding Bethesda Terrace.

Seeing Central Park also reveals many newly renovated and restored designs, including Bow Bridge, which has been canonized in countless films, and the Minto Tile Arcade near the famous Bethesda Fountain.

Central Park, An American Masterpiece: A Comprehensive History of the Nation's First Urban Park

By Sara Cedar Miller

Brand: Harry N. Abrams
Hardcover (240 pages)

Central Park, An American Masterpiece: A Comprehensive History of the Nation s First Urban Park
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Marking Central Park's 150th anniversary, this is a history of America's first public park and a paragon of 19th-century landscape design. Sara Cedar Miller, the official historian and photographer for the Central Park Conservancy, draws on extensive research to tell the story of the park's creation, placing it in the context of 19th-century American art and social history, and illuminating the roles of its designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux and their associate Jacob Wrey Mould. Period views and originals plans and drawings are complemented by Miller's photographs, which show the restored park's glory.

Central Park: The History of New York City's Most Unique Landmark

By Charles River Editors

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (62 pages)

Central Park: The History of New York City s Most Unique Landmark
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*Includes pictures *Includes accounts of the park's construction and history written by newspapers and people who worked on it. *Includes a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “I just want to go through Central Park and watch folks passing by. Spend the whole day watching people. I miss that.” – Barack Obama Of all the great cities in the world, few personify their country like New York City. As America’s largest city and best known immigration gateway into the country, the Big Apple represents the beauty, diversity and sheer strength of the United States, a global financial center that has enticed people chasing the “American Dream” for centuries. Given that background, it’s fitting that the city’s most unique landmark, Central Park, sits at the heart of Manhattan and provides a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle surrounding it. As actor Haley Joel Osment once put it, “My favorite place is Central Park because you never know what you're going to find there. I also like that when I look out the windows of surrounding hotels, it's seems like I'm looking out over a forest.” In 1811, an ambitious plan was laid out that would transform Manhattan’s grid into 2,028 blocks, from Houston Street to 155th Street. Forests would be cut down, hills razed, ponds and streams filled. It took years to survey, and years to complete: at different points in time, one might have seen a long avenue laid out, unpaved, with a scattering of as-yet-unattached six-story buildings amid boulders yet to be cleared and soon-to-be-demolished shantytowns. Ironically, almost no parks were incorporated into the plan, and Central Park would not be built until the end of the 19th century. When Central Park was designed, however, it was an ambitious project on an almost unprecedented affair. As serene as Central Park is today, it’s hard to imagine that its creation was an entirely manmade affair consisting of dynamite blasts, tons of imported topsoil, and the labor of thousands of workers. Before the area’s transformation, the land was swampy terrain used by impoverished squatters and people who let their livestock roam the grounds, but after nearly 15 years of work, the metamorphosis was nearly complete. Of course, New Yorkers soon came to understand that such a large park required serious upkeep; as historian Robert Caro noted, “Lawns, unseeded, were expanses of bare earth, decorated with scraggly patches of grass and weeds, that became dust holes in dry weather and mud holes in wet…The once beautiful Mall looked like a scene of a wild party the morning after. Benches lay on their backs, their legs jabbing at the sky...” With city resources being pumped into maintaining Central Park, it has become the most visited urban park in the world, and it is a cultural touchstone that draws not only tourists but events. Locals commonly walk or run through the park, and others play sports or simply picnic, but Central Park is also home to monuments of all sorts, including statues dedicated to artists and playwrights, the Strawberry Fields tribute to John Lennon, and an Ancient Egyptian obelisk known colloquially as Cleopatra’s Needle. On top of all that, Central Park has a diverse array of wildlife thanks to a sizable reservoir, over 1,000 different species of trees, a zoo, and more. Put simply, Central Park is the most unique place in one of America’s most unique cities. Central Park: The History of New York City’s Most Unique Landmark chronicles the construction and history of the Big Apple’s most famous park. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about Central Park like never before, in no time at all.

212 Views of Central Park: Experiencing New York City's Jewel From Every Angle

By Sandee Brawarsky

Hales, Michael/ Brawarsky, Sandee/ Hartman, David (INT)/ Hales, Mick (PHT)
Hardcover (160 pages)

212 Views of Central Park: Experiencing New York City s Jewel From Every Angle
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Photographs of New York City's 843 acre Central Park show the natural beauty of the park in every season, its hidden places, public areas, and visitors.

The Park and the People: A History of Central Park

By Roy Rosenzweig

Brand: Cornell University Press
Paperback (640 pages)

The Park and the People: A History of Central Park
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This "exemplary social history" (Kirkus Reviews) is the first full-scale account of Central Park ever published. Elizabeth Blackmar and Roy Rosenzweig tell the story of Central Park's people―the merchants and landowners who launched the project; the immigrant and African-American residents who were displaced by the park; the politicians, gentlemen, and artists who disputed its design and operation; the German gardeners, Irish laborers, and Yankee engineers who built it; and the generations of New Yorkers for whom Central Park was their only backyard. In tracing the park's history, Blackmar and Rosenzweig give us the history of New York, and bring to life larger issues about the meaning of the word "public" in a democratic society.

Creating Central Park (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

By Morrison H. Heckscher

Metropolitan Museum of Art
Paperback (76 pages)

Creating Central Park (Metropolitan Museum of Art)
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The year 2008 marks the 150th anniversary of the design of Central Park, the first and arguably the most famous of America’s urban landscape parks. In October 1857 the new park’s board of commissioners announced a public design competition, and the following April the imaginative yet practicable “Greensward” plan submitted by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted was selected.

 

This book tells the fascinating story of how an extraordinary work of public art emerged from the crucible of New York City politics. From William Cullen Bryant’s 1844 editorial calling for “a pleasure ground of shade and recreation” to the completion of construction in 1870, the history of Central Park is an urban epic––a tale not only of animosity, political intrigue, and desire but also of idealism, sacrifice, and genius.

Central Park Trees and Landscapes: A Guide to New York City's Masterpiece

By Edward S. Barnard

Columbia University Press
Paperback (336 pages)

Central Park Trees and Landscapes: A Guide to New York City s Masterpiece
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This is the ultimate field guide to the trees and landscapes of Central Park, with a lively, authoritative text and over 900 color photographs, botanical plates, and extraordinarily detailed maps.

Under the direction of the Central Park Conservancy, the park's landscapes have been painstakingly restored to achieve the effects envisioned more than 150 years ago by the park's designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. This book highlights the leading role that trees play in defining 22 of these landscapes and chronicles the history of each of more than 200 tree species and varieties present in the park―where it came from and where the most outstanding specimens are located.

Besides being a superb guide to the world's greatest center-city park, this book is a highly informative guide to most of the tree species commonly encountered in the eastern United States. Anyone who loves trees will find this book a very rewarding read, full of fascinating details and beautiful illustrations.

Central Park Trees and Landscapes is divided into two major sections:

"The Landscapes" opens with a geological account of Manhattan Island―from its position 500 million years ago on the edge of the proto–North American continent to its emergence about 15,000 years ago from the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The effects that human inhabitants had on the ecology of the island are described―from the burning of field stubble by Native Americans to the clearing of forest trees by Europeans. Next, the narrative focuses on the land that would eventually become Central Park―how it was saved from being dissected by John Randel's rigid street grid and how Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux became the park's designers. The heart of the section is devoted to the construction of the park in the late 1850s and 1860s. Twenty-two of the park's grand landscapes are pictured in dozens of photographs and in seven detailed maps pinpointing nearly 20,000 trees. Readers can identify each tree on the maps by species using the Tree Maps Key (located on the back of the front flap).

"The Tree Guide" contains informative essays full of intriguing botanical and historical facts on over 200 of the park's tree species and varieties. Each two-page entry features illustrations of leaves, fruits, flowers, and bark as well as a striking portrait photograph of a park tree. The entries are organized into groups by leaf shapes shown on an easy-to-use identification key (located inside the front cover).

Barnes & Noble Complete Illustrated Map and Guidebook to Central Park

By Richard J. Berenson

Silver Lining
Paperback (128 pages)

Barnes & Noble Complete Illustrated Map and Guidebook to Central Park
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Explore Central Park’s more than 150 landmarks and attractions. Six walking tours take you around the Pond, Mall, Lake, Ramble, Reservoir, and Meer. Illustrations of birds and waterfowl and a seasonal guide to flora reveal the natural wonders. Fifteen pages of maps identify all the paths, roadways, places of interest, and public services. It’s a fantastic resource for travelers and native New Yorkers, too.


 
 
 

 
 
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