Change from hunting-gathering lifestyle to Agrarian society forced people to learn how to live in closer proximity with others, this development gave birth to public and private space. This essay will be focusing on Manhattan’s Central Park, a well documented public space with more than 25 million visitors each year from world wide.
New York City’s Central Park is the first and most visited urban landscaped park in the United States and one of the most famous in the world (thanks to television shows and movies). The 843-acre of green oasis covers about 6 percent of Manhattan Island which also has the distinction of being the nation’s first major metropolitan park built specifically for the enjoyment of the entire community. Designed in 1857 by Frederick Law Olmsted and his partner Calvert Vaux, the sites landscape was innovatively and artfully painted with sweeping meadows, lush woodlands, pristine lakes, and secluded ponds to pertain that natural appearance that can easily fool even the most skilled unsuspecting visitors. To fulfill the goal of creating an oasis for the public Olmsted and Vaux’s design plan had to compete with leading urban public spaces of its era, like London’s Hyde Park and Paris’s Jardin des Tuileries. ‘The purpose was to refute the European view that Americans lacked a sense of civic duty and appreciation for cultural refinement and instead possessed an unhealthy and individualistic materialism that precluded interest in the common good’ (Waxman. 1994)
Olmsted and Vaux combined there interest in ‘rural life with a sense of democratic idealism to create a new kind of civil engineering that synthesized function and beauty’ (lbid). There vision for Central Park proved to be extremely time consuming with ‘topsoil imported from Long Island and New Jersey’ (Slavicek.2009) not to mention expensive “The city of New York had only been able to afford the huge mid- Manhattan plot in the first place because the tract’s rocky, swampy, and uneven terrain had kept its price per acre relatively low” (lbid) even so it ultimately cost the city $15 million which is roundabout $250 million today.
Central parks has many physical and programmatic features such as several natural-seeming lakes and ponds, two ice-skating rinks, an outdoor amphitheater which hosts the Shakespeare in the Park summer festival, extensive walking tracks, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, the Central Park Zoo a wildlife sanctuary, a large area of natural woods, a 106 acre billion gallon reservoir and grassy areas used for informal or team sports or set aside as quiet areas, as well as enclosed playgrounds for children. ‘Central Park is bordered on the north by West 110th Street, on the south by West 59th Street, on the west by Central Park West, and on the east by Fifth Avenue which retains its name along the eastern border’(Unknown. 2008). The area surrounding the park is known for its impressive real estate and its dedication to ECO friendly environment ‘automobile is banned around the perimeter of the park on weekends after 7:00 p.m.’ (lbid). In additional the park is populated with joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters, as means of traveling after 7:00 p.m. These features have contributed in many ways in making this public space a success, and fulfilling Olmsted and Vaux’s vision.
Most tourists describe central park has a piece of heaven in the middle of madness but after 150 yards in you will feel like your entirely out of the City and into the woods, full of civil and diverse mix of people out with there kids. Every season has its central perks, especial summer with its many outdoor events and festivals like concerts and shows in the Shakespeare Gardens from buggy rides to (rental) bike rides to horse riding not to mention those stunning picture worthy statues that seem to come alive with summers ray. It’s also well supplied with food stands and streets artist who are eager to please you with there skills...
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