Keeping Central Park Historical

 Photo by Michael Minn (Google Search)

By Nicosia Smith

When you think of the beauty and serenity of Central Park, what comes to mind?

You may have wondered why: a stream runs there; a cascade flows that way; a walking path interrupts here and there; or tree canopies are in particular places. When it comes to walking paths though, years of trampling through the Park has created ‘desire lines’, that is, tracks created by visitors.

Other than those desire lines, everything else was created to be that way. It was built as an idealized way of the countryside for city dwellers by designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1872.

So contrary to what some may think, it really was not built for the wealthy to enjoy strolls in the 19th Century. Attesting to this, Lane N. Addonizio, Associate Vice President for Planning, at Central Park Conservancy said, ‘nothing really could be furthest from the truth’. She made these comments September 25 at the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum in Harlem at a forum titled, Harlem Focus – Urban Woodland Restoration: Design and Nature’s Habitat.

Nevertheless, the Park over the years did lose some of that country feeling. With almost dried up lakes, sedimentation blocking water flow, lost of plant life and trampling that has created desire lines.  “The Loch,” or lake, over time had also come down to a trickle.

Addonizio told the public forum that, they want to create areas with more water and the plan is to bring back the deep water pool; create variety particularly for habitat and more scenery.

This is glad to know, as a city dweller, because there are still a lot of us who cannot go to the countryside.

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