Interesting facts about Central Park

central park

Central Park is an urban park in New York City between Fifth Avenue and Eighth Avenue and running from 59th Street to 110th Street.

Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States.

Central Park receives around 42 million visitors annually and stays open all year.

The Park was initially opened in 1857. It was later improved and expanded according to Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s Greensward Plan, after which it was reopened in 1873.

Central Park is comprised of 341 hectares (843 acres). It is 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) long and 0.8 kilometers (0.5 mile) wide. Central Park initially consisted of 315 hectares (778 acres) when it was first opened in 1857.

The Park’s 341 hectares (843 acres) include 55 hectares (136 acres) of woodlands, 101 hectares (250 acres) of lawns, and 61 hectares (150 acres) of water in seven water bodies.

Central Park was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964 and a New York City Landmark in 1974.

central park new york

The Park was managed for decades by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and is currently managed by the Central Park Conservancy under contract with the municipal government in a public-private partnership.

The vast majority of Central Park has been professionally landscaped, despite appearing natural.

More than a half million shrubs, trees, and vines were planted during the building of the Park. Today, there are more than 26,000 trees, including 1,700 American elms.

central park trees

In Central Park you can find squirrels, chipmunks, raccoon, opossums and many kinds of birds (like ducks, geese, robins, blue jays, orioles, cardinals, warblers, king lets, scarlet tanagers, downy woodpeckers, titmice, falcons, hawks, owls…and of course the ubiquitous pigeons).

Central Park contains 92.8 kilometers (58 miles) of pedestrian paths, 7.2 kilometers (4.5 miles) of bridle trail, 10.4 kilometers (6.5 miles) of Park Drive.

The longest loop that you can make in Central Park without repeating any terrain is 9.8 kilometers (6.1 miles).

The Park contains seven man-made lakes and ponds.

Central Park have over 9,000 benches which would stretch 7 miles if placed end to end.

central park benches

There are 51 sculptures, 36 bridges & arches, 7 ornamental fountains and 125 drinking fountains.

One large sculpture depicts Alice, from Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.The statue is made by José de Creeft.

alice in wonderland central park

Balto by Frederick George Richard Roth, was dedicated to the sled dogs that led several dogsled teams through a snow-storm in the winter of 1925 in order to deliver medicines that would stop a diphtheria epidemic in Nome, Alaska.

central park balto

Bethesda Fountain rises high above Bethesda Terrace, looking over the hundreds of visitors that come every day to enjoy the view of the Lake and relax at the “heart” of Central Park.The sculpture that tops it, Angel of Waters, was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1873 and is one of the most recognizable icons in the entire park.

bethesda fountain terrace

Bethesda Terrace arcade was created in the 1860s as a part of the Park’s main architectural feature. The highlight of the arcade is the magnificent Minton Tile ceiling.

bethesda terrace arcade

Cleopatra’s Needle is a red granite obelisk. The “Cleopatra’s Needle” in Central Park is one of three; there also is one in Paris and one in London, which is one of a pair with the New York obelisk. Each obelisk is approximately 68–69 feet tall and weigh about 180 tons. They originally were erected at the Temple of Ra in Heliopolis in Ancient Egypt around 1450 BC by the pharaoh Thutmose III.

cleopatras needle central park

Central Park’s Naumburg Bandshell, an original feature of the Park, has come a long way from its beginnings as a mere classical music arena. It was constructed in 1862, at a time when pop music concerts were deemed unsuitable for such a venue.Today, the Bandshell is known for its summertime concerts, which include a variety of musical artists from a wide range of different genres in addition to the traditional classical.

naumburg bandshell

Bow Bridge is one of the most photographed and filmed locations in Central Park and it deserves every bit of its star reputation.It was the first cast-iron bridge in the Park (and the second oldest in America), the bridge was built between 1859 and 1862.

bow bridge

In the center of Central Park lies the Great Lawn, a green pasture of 22 hectares (55 acres) that is considered one of the most famous lawns in the world. The Great Lawn is a wonderful place to have a picnic on a spring afternoon or to catch some rays in the summer sun.

great lawn

Sheep Meadow, today the Park’s largest lawn without ballfields features people it was originally the home to a flock of pure bred sheep from 1864 until 1934.This expansive 6 hectares (15 acre) field that is today used for sunbathing,kite flying, and relaxing summer picnics.

sheep meadow central park

Strawberry Fields is a one hectare (2.5 acre) landscaped section in New York City’s Central Park that is dedicated to the memory of former Beatle John Lennon. It is named after the Beatles’ song “Strawberry Fields Forever” written by Lennon.The memorial is a triangular piece of land falling away on the two sides of the park, and its focal point is a circular pathway mosaic of inlaid stones, with a single word, the title of Lennon’s famous song: “Imagine”.

central park strawberry fields

One of the hidden wonders of Central Park is the Conservatory Garden.It is is the only formal garden found in Central Park.This 2.4 hectares (6 acre) garden is divided into three smaller gardens, each with a distinct style: Italian, French, and English.

central park conservatory garden

One of the Park’s most picturesque landscapes, the reservoir is 12 meters (40 feet) deep and holds a 3.78 billions liters (billion gallons) of water.Built in the 1860s as a temporary water supply for New York City, the Reservoir is surrounded by a 1.58 mile running track.

central park reservoir

The famed Carousel, with its sweet calliope music and 57 magnificent horses, is the fourth to stand in Central Park since 1871.It is one of Central Park’s most popular attractions.

central park carousel

Sitting high atop Vista Rock (the second highest natural elevation in the park) Belvedere Castle provides a panoramic view in almost every direction. It is also perhaps the most magical monument in Central Park, one that combines function, form and romance – all in one convenient, central location.Originally designed in 1865 by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, Belvedere Castle was intended to be a Victorian Folly, a fantasy structure that provides a great backdrop and views, but without a real intended purpose.

belvedere castle central park

The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo and the Tisch Children’s Zoo. Here, just a few yards from 5th Ave. you’ll find over 130 different species ranging from giant Polar Bears to the Brazilian black tarantula. A walk around the Zoo’s five plus acres will take you through a variety of habitats, all carefully designed to recreate the natural environment of the animals they house.

central park zoo

Skating on Wollman Rink is a winter tradition for New Yorkers and tourists alike, so many people have tied up their skates for the very first time on this ice. Ice skating is a long-standing and beloved tradition here in Central Park — as old as the Park itself.

wollman rink

Central Park has been featured in the filming of over 200 movies since 1908.