THE SECRETS OF NEW YORK’S CENTRAL PARK
Designed in 19th century by Frederic Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, Central Park ones became a lush oasis in one of the busiest cities in the world. This treasured natural landmark expanse over 843 acres and annually welcomes over 40 million people. We took on a special tour and revealed some of Central Park’s secrets and little-known historical facts.
Central Park cost about as much money as the entire state of Alaska
The Central Park was enacted by New York State Legislature in 1853. The two architects are winning a design competition in 1858 and Central Park is becoming a National Historic Landmark in 1962. Purchased for about 7.4 million dollars, the Central Park cost about as much money as the entire Alaska, which was bought from Russia in 1867 for 7.2 million.
Hidden clues on the lamp posts
If you ever get lost in Central Park, just head to one of the 1,600 lamp posts aka “luminaires”, scattered throughout the park. On every one of them, you can see four numbers. The first two digits tell you the nearest street, the second set of numbers will show whether you are on the east or west side. Even numbers are east, odd numbers are west.
Sunken treasure in the reservoir
One of the most picturesque landscapes is 40 feet deep Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir located in the north end of Central Park. For several years, an unpleasantly looking seven-foot high chain-link fence obscured the view. When scuba divers were exploring the reservoir, they found a chunk of the original cast iron fence at the bottom. Central Park Conservatory then assembled a steel fence with cast-iron ornamentation, a close replica to the original one.
The Casino was a hotspot during Prohibition
The Central Park Casino was originally designed by Olmsted as the Ladies’ Refreshment Salon. In the 19th century, it was a place where unaccompanied female could safely enjoy their time without being troubled by men. A half-century later, it was however patronized by men and New York City mayor Jimmy Walker transformed it into a Casino. During the Prohibition in the 1920s, the Casino was one of the most expensive nightclubs in NYC.